Gravity and Magnetic Investigation of the Surtsey Volcano of Iceland’s Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The Ohio State University

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


This study integrated topography, and anomalous gravity and magnetic data for the crustal attributes of the juvenile Surtsey volcano, which is part of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago off the southern tip of Iceland on the Atlantic Ridge. Crustal models that jointly satisfy multiple datasets typically are more reliable than one based only on a single set of data. Here, the modeling used Geosoft’s Oasis montage software to access and process the datasets. The modeling suggested that Surtsey’s subsurface architecture is much more extensive than its terrestrial edifice. It also constrained crustal temperature variations that inverse gravity and magnetic anomaly correlations may flag. Enhanced heat depresses crustal magnetization and its magnetic anomaly and increases the related gravity anomaly due to the inflation of the crust and its density contrast relative to the overlying air/sea water environment and vice versa. Geothermal modeling MatLab code also was developed to suggest that Surtsey might achieve thermal equilibrium on the scale of some 105 yrs. These results provide a template for considering the crustal properties of the other volcanoes of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago that sits on a propagating oceanic ridge.



Surtsey, Gravity, Magnetics, Geophysics, Vestmannaeyjar