Surtsey

Country
Iceland
Inscribed in
2008
Criterion
(ix)
The conservation outlook for this site has been assessed as "good" in the latest assessment cycle. Explore the Conservation Outlook Assessment for the site below. You have the option to access the summary, or the detailed assessment.

Surtsey, a volcanic island approximately 32 km from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. It is all the more outstanding for having been protected since its birth, providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory. Free from human interference, Surtsey has been producing unique long-term information on the colonisation process of new land by plant and animal life. Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed the arrival of seeds carried by ocean currents, the appearance of moulds, bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965 by the first vascular plant, of which there were 10 species by the end of the first decade. By 2004, they numbered 60 together with 75 bryophytes, 71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty-nine species of birds have been recorded on Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere in Iceland. The 141 ha island is also home to 335 species of invertebrates. © UNESCO

© IUCN/Chris Wood

Summary

2020 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
02 Dec 2020
Good
Surtsey is a highly controlled, isolated environment and current threats are very low. Under the current regime of strict protection, the site’s values are well preserved. The Surtsey Nature Reserve has, since its inception in 1965, de facto been managed in conformity with the requirements of an IUCN category 1a Strict Nature Reserve. The fact that the ongoing ecological processes have remained unaffected by human activities makes Surtsey a unique natural laboratory of global significance. The current management plan should have strengthened protection and management of the site since the beginning of its imlpementation period, given the long term vision for management of the site that it sets out. However, limited information is available on the effectiveness of its implementation to date.

Current state and trend of VALUES

Good
Trend
Stable
Surtsey is of outstanding global significance because of its current geological and ecological features as well as the thoroughly studied geomorphological and biophysical processes which have created them. The fact that these features and processes have remained unaffected by human activities makes Surtsey a unique natural laboratory of global significance. The island’s integrity and its values have been preserved through a very strict protection regime since 1965.

Overall THREATS

Low Threat
Overall the threats are low, but some concerns exist. Current threats include shipping lanes, large vessels, fishing boats and dumping of waste at sea. Vigilance is required to ensure that oil spills, the discharge of sewage or solid waste from visiting recreational boats, fishing boats or cruise ships, is prevented and no harm occurs to the marine areas and natural environment surrounding Surtsey. This threat will only increase with increasing number of sightseeing tourism, recreational boats and cruise ships inside the Reserve. Invasive alien species are a major potential threat to the biodiversity of the island. Further data is needed to evaluate the scale of activities of fishing boats, recreational or sightseeing boats and cruise ships inside the Surtsey Nature Reserve.
Invasive alien species are a major potential threat to the biodiversity of the island. In the Management Plan, a five-year Action plan (2014-2019) includes actions needed to prevent invasive alien species from reaching the Surtsey island by humans and to exterminate them if they are found on the island. Climate change is expected to have influence on the biodiversity on land and sea in the future.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Mostly Effective
Under the current regime of strict protection, the Surtsey island essentially protects itself. The Surtsey Nature Reserve has, since its inception in 1965, de facto been managed in conformity with the requirements of an IUCN category 1a Strict Nature Reserve. New Management Plan (2014-2023) should strengthen further the protection, but it is important that it is fully implemented and the aims set out in the Action Plan are fulfilled. Additional promotion about the Surtsey Nature Reserve is needed under the auspice of the Environment Agency.

Full assessment

Click the + and - signs to expand or collapse full accounts of information under each topic. You can also view the entire list of information by clicking Expand all on the top left.

Finalised on
02 Dec 2020

Description of values

Ongoing scientific research of the colonisation and succession of life

Criterion
(ix)
Surtsey is a world-recognised model for research of the colonisation and succession of life on a totally sterile land surface. Surtsey was born as a new volcanic island in 1963-67 and since that time has played a major role in studies of succession and colonisation (World Heritage Committee, 2008).

Ongoing process of colonization by plants and animals

Criterion
(ix)
Surtsey has been the site of one of the few long term studies worldwide on primary succession, providing a unique scientific record of the process of colonisation of land by plants, animals and marine organisms (World Heritage Committee, 2008).

Pristine natural laboratory

Criterion
(ix)
Not only is it geographically isolated, but it has been legally protected from its birth, providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory, free from human interference (World Heritage Committee, 2008). Because of its continuing protection, Surtsey will continue to provide invaluable data on biological colonisation long into the future. Long-term continuous scientific research and monitoring in Surtsey is valuable in valuating environmental changes (World Heritage Committee, 2008).
Best-documented submarine eruption
The Surtsey eruption is the best-documented submarine eruption to date and has provided invaluable information on post-eruptional processes such as the alteration of tephra into tuff and the evolution of a geothermal area.

Assessment information

Low Threat
Current threats are low, but some concerns exist, particularly with regards to shipping lanes and large vessels, and dumping of waste at sea. Vigilance is required to ensure that oil spills, the discharge of sewage or solid waste from visiting recreational boats, fishing boats or cruise ships, is prevented and no harm occurs to the marine areas and natural environment surrounding Surtsey. These threats can increase with increasing tourism in the ocean around Surtsey.
Solid Waste
(Garbage at sea)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Outside site
The dumping of waste at sea, including damaged nets, fishing gear, containers or household garbage, is an issue of concern, as significant quantities of litter wash up on Surtsey´s shores every year (State Party of Iceland, 2007). Garbage is mainly found on the northern spit of the island. In 2016, the Surtsey Research Society provided funding to clean the northern spit of Surtsey of all garbage washed up from the sea. The cleaning was managed by the Environment Agency. The garbage collected was transported from the island to the mainland for disposal (IUCN Consultation, 2017). Garbage collection on the spit will be done every year from now on, or as necessary.
Tourism/ visitors/ recreation
(Tourism)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Not applicable
There has been debate of whether or not to allow controlled tourism on the island. The municipality of Vestmannaeyjar has several times sent a request to the Environment Agency to have permission to go ashore in Surtsey with tourists (State Party of Iceland, 2007). Currently, a very strict protection regime applies and there are no plans to change the management regime or access restrictions on Surtsey (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Fishing / Harvesting Aquatic Resources
(Fishing)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
Fishing with gill nets, lines and traps are allowed inside the Surtsey Nature Reserve. Fishing with towed bottom gear is prohibited within the World Heritage site, but allowed in the buffer zone (State Party of Iceland, 2007).
In the nomination dossier 2007 Marine Research Institute provided data on fishing activities inside the Reserve for the period 1987-2005. It is important to get new data of fishing activities inside the Reserve, for comparison and to identify changes (if any).
Shipping Lanes
(Boats and vessels)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
Vigilance is required by visiting boats and vessels in the Reserve to ensure that oil spills, the discharge of sewage or the disposal of food or solid waste from visiting recreational boats, fishing boats or cruise ships, is prevented and no harm occurs to the marine areas and natural environment surrounding Surtsey. This threat will increase with increasing number of recreational boats and cruise ships (State Party of Iceland, 2007).

Data is needed for the magnitude of recreational or sightseeing boats and cruise ship inside the Reserve. Available data for the harbour of Heimaey shows that 50 cruise ships are expected in the period from May to September 2017 (Heimaey, 2017).

The Management Plan (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014) and Action plan for 2014-2019 suggest a restriction zone along the coast of Surtsey that indicates the distance that boats can sail up to.
Low Threat
Potential threats are low and not of much concern except for invasive alien species. In the Management Plan, a five-year Action plan (2014-2019) includes actions needed to prevent invasive alien species from reaching the Surtsey island by humans and to exterminate them if they are found on the island. Climate change is expected to have influence on the biodiversity on land and sea in the future.
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
(Invasive alien species)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Not applicable
Outside site
Invasive alien species are a major threat to the biodiversity of remote islands of the world. Every effort will be made to ensure that Surtsey remains free of alien invasive species. If a new species of plant or animal is found on Surtsey, which is considered alien invasive on the mainland, actions are taken to remove it before it has a chance to spread (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014). No invasive alien species have been reforded in the island so far. But invasive plants are found on the only inhabitated island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipielago, Heimaey, that is 18 km SE from Surtsey.
Other
(Man-made infrastructures on the island)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Some minor development activities may be required in the future for monitoring, research and conservation within the Surtsey Nature Reserve. Any such development activities will be subject to a full Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with national law and consent by the Environment Agency (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014). The hut in Surtsey and the automatic weather station need to be regularly maintained. Improvement on the helipad is needed and has been under discussion the past years (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
Habitat Shifting/ Alteration
(Climate change)
Low Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Outside site
Climate changes can in the future affect natural colonization process and ecosystem developments of terrestrial biota and marine organisms at Surtsey. The climate of Surtsey is similar to the climate of other islands in the archipelago and comparison with 30 years time series (1981-2010) on Heimaey shows that in the last decade January-March has become warmer than earlier (Petersen et al., 2020).
Volcanic activity
(Volcanic eruption)
Very Low Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
Surtsey belongs to the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago which constitutes a separate volcanic system at the southern end of the Eastern Volcanic Zone of Iceland, the Vestmannaeyjar volcanic system. Volcanic eruption within the system cannot be excluded (State Party of Iceland, 2007). An earthquake of magnitude 3.1 in Richter scale happened off shore near Surtsey in April 2015 (Icelandic Met Office, 2015).
Overall the threats are low, but some concerns exist. Current threats include shipping lanes, large vessels, fishing boats and dumping of waste at sea. Vigilance is required to ensure that oil spills, the discharge of sewage or solid waste from visiting recreational boats, fishing boats or cruise ships, is prevented and no harm occurs to the marine areas and natural environment surrounding Surtsey. This threat will only increase with increasing number of sightseeing tourism, recreational boats and cruise ships inside the Reserve. Invasive alien species are a major potential threat to the biodiversity of the island. Further data is needed to evaluate the scale of activities of fishing boats, recreational or sightseeing boats and cruise ships inside the Surtsey Nature Reserve.
Invasive alien species are a major potential threat to the biodiversity of the island. In the Management Plan, a five-year Action plan (2014-2019) includes actions needed to prevent invasive alien species from reaching the Surtsey island by humans and to exterminate them if they are found on the island. Climate change is expected to have influence on the biodiversity on land and sea in the future.
Management system
Mostly Effective
The supervision of the nature reserve is in the responsibility of the Environment Agency.
Six member advisory panel meets twice a year to discuss the Surtsey Nature Reserve issues. The panel includes representatives from the Agency, the Surtsey Research Society, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, the Marine Research Institute, and two representatives from the Municipality of Vestmannaeyjar. By special agreement of the Ministry of Environment, the Surtsey Research Society co-ordinates all research on the island and advises on other activities (IUCN, 2008).
The Municipality of Vestmannaeyjar is the local guardian and physical planning authority for the Surtsey Nature Reserve.
Management Plan 2014-2023 for the site provides a long term vision for management of the Reserve, along with a series of goals and objectives that include the necessary measures for integrated conservation, research, monitoring and interpretation. The MP includes a five year Action plan (2014-2019) for the Reserve (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014).
Surtsey is a highly controlled, isolated environment and no visitors are allowed on the island (State Party of Iceland, 2007; World Heritage Committee, 2008).
Effectiveness of management system
Mostly Effective
The Action plan sets out several objectives for the period 2014-2019:
1) 2014: security plan with preventive measures, education and response plan; instruction about cleaning clothes and equipment before visiting Surtsey. Instructions about cleaning clothes have been established and are sent to anyone that is granted permission to visit Surtsey (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
2) 2015: rules for sampling and good care of nature; instructions for applying for a permission to visit Surtsey; website about Surtsey in English. Applying for permission to visit Surtsey is now a straightforward procedure carried out online: www.ust.is
3) 2016: response plan in case of pollution accident on land or sea; information and education plan for the next five years. This response plan for pollution accident has been successfully esablished (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
4) 2018: revised declaration for the Surtsey Nature Reserve; collection of all references about Surtsey (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014). Next year, The Action plan for Surtsey will be revaluated, concurrently the pollution accident plan will be reassessed.
Boundaries
Highly Effective
The total area of Surtsey Nature Reserve is 65,6 km2. The size of the area listed on UNESCO World Heritage List is 33.7 km2 and coincides with the strictly protected part of the nationally designated Reserve. It encompasses the entire Surtsey volcano, of which 1.4 km2 is above and 13.2 km2 below sea surface, plus 19.1 km2 of surrounding ocean. The remaining 31.9 km2 oceanic area of the nationally designated Reserve is defined as a buffer zone for the nature heritage site (State Party of Iceland, 2007; IUCN, 2008).
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Mostly Effective
The Municipality of Vestmannaeyjar is the local guardian and physical planning authority for the Surtsey Nature Reserve.
Relationships with local people
Mostly Effective
The island of Surtsey is an important part of the inhabitant’s local pride and identity and symbolises their close relationship with the natural environment. There has been debate amongst local inhabitants about whether or not to allow controlled tourism on the island. Currently, there are no plans to change the management regime or acess restrictions on Surtsey.
In November 2014, the Surtsey Visitor Center was closed and the exhibition moved to the new volcano museum, Eldheimar, in Heimaey (Eldheimar, 2017). Apart from the exhibition about Surtsey in the museum, additional promotion about the Reserve under the auspice of the Environment Agency is needed for the local people on Heimaey island.
Legal framework
Highly Effective
The site benefits from effective national legal protection through the 2013 Nature Conservation Act, which provides the The Nature Conservation Agency with a mandate, including detailed role description, for the conservation of protected areas in the country, including Surtsey.
Law enforcement
Highly Effective
Under the current regime of strict protection and being isolated, the Surtsey island essentially protects itself. All visits to Surtsey cause some disturbance but the regulation limiting the possible number of visits in the period July to September and specific number of visitors in each tour, minimise disturbances on the environment. It is crucial that all research projects also strictly comply with the regulations to minimise any possible disturbance.
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Data Deficient
No Committee Decisions so far
Sustainable use
Mostly Effective
Visits to Surtsey are limited to researchers and are under supervision of the Head Warden. Research expeditions in Surtsey are sustainable and researchers are aware of making no impact on the environment while staying on Surtsey. Sampling is minimal and taken with care. All garbage is transported back in the end of each expedition.
Sustainable finance
Mostly Effective
The Environment Agency receives yearly national budget from the state to manage protected areas. Those that get permission for filming or photographing on Surtsey pay fees to the Agency for the transport and supervision of the warden while visiting the island.
Sustainable financing for research and monitoring are restricted. To ensure regular scientific excursions to the island and material costs for regular monitoring and further scientific work on the island funds need to be secured for the long-term.
The Surtsey Research Society (SRS) provides funding to maintain the hut in Surtsey and for regular aerial photographing of the island every second year. In 2016, the SRS financed the transport of collected garbage from the island (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Staff capacity, training, and development
Some Concern
The Environment Agency is responsible for providing trained staff to ensure day-to-day management of the Surtsey Nature Reserve. The site manager has an office in the town of Vestmannaeyjar.
Surtsey Visitor Centre was closed in 2014 and the exhibition part was moved to the volcano museum Eldheimar in Vestmannaeyjar town (Eldheimar, 2017). Since then the Head Warden is the only staff member, year-round, for the Reserve.
Education and interpretation programs
Some Concern
The Environment Agency is responsible for providing up-to-date information and interpretation material on the Surtsey Nature Reserve through brochures, posters and the Internet.
An interpretation and education strategy for five years period is foreseen in the Management plan 2014-2023 (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014). In 2020 it has not yet been introduced or published (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
In June 2013, Surtsey monument and information signs were set up in Heimaey by the Environment Agency and revealed by the Ministry of Environment to celebrate Surtsey being a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Surtsey monument, 2013).
In Autumn 2013 the 50th Anniversary of the birth of new island and ongoing scientific research was celebrated with a confernce in Reykjavík (Surtsey Research Society, 2013).
Tourism and visitation management
Mostly Effective
The Surtsey exhibition was moved to the new volcanic museum Eldheimar in Vestmannaeyjar town (Eldheimar website). Since visits to Surtsey are de facto prohibited the main focus for tourism development relating to the island will be indirect rather than direct and therefore education and interpretation programmes are important.
Although tourists are not allowed to go ashore on Surtsey, it is permissible to travel by boat within the Reserve and view the island from the sea or air (Umhverfisstofnun, 2014). Opportunities exist for boat trips to the Reserve from the harbour in Vestmannaeyjar. Aerial sightseeing, when undertaken in a controlled and responsible manner, also provides an excellent means of viewing the island and its geological formations. Tourism is an important element of the economy of the Vestmannaeyjar Municipality and there is a strong need to communicate and promote the site in the municipality after the island was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Monitoring
Highly Effective
The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Marine Research Institute and the Agricultural University of Iceland, in cooperation with the Surtsey Research Society, conduct research and monitoring of the state of natural phenomena within the Reserve.
Ever since Surtsey emerged from the sea during the 1963—1967 submarine eruption, the geomorphological processes, biological and geological features have been studied and monitored with minimal human impact. This also includes regular aerial photographs, mapping and multi-beam bathymetric mapping of the surrounding sea floor (State Party of Iceland, 2007; IUCN, 2008; World Heritage Committee, 2008; Surtsey Research Society, 2015).
Research
Highly Effective
The Surtsey Research Society coordinates research and furthers scientific knowledge about the Reserve (www.surtsey.is). It has published 14 reports on the results of scientific work in Surtsey on their web site (https://surtsey.is/utgafa-surtseyjarfelagsins/). The newest report was published in 2020.
The Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH), the Marine Research Institute and Agricultural University of Iceland conduct research and regular monitoring of the natural conditions of the island of Surtsey. Every year the IINH publishes on their web a short overview about the summer expedition in Surtsey (https://www.ni.is/frettir/2020/07/surtseyjarleidangur-liffraedinga-2020). All research within Surtsey Nature Reserve should contribute to the greater understanding and appreciation of the Reserve. 
In August 2017 a new international research project named SUSTAIN (Surtsey Underwater volcanic System for Thermophiles, Alteration processes and INnovative Concretes) started. This is a drilling project sponsored by International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) and other institutions. Two drill holes are parallel with the drill hole from 1979. One hole is used to study how microbial succession and ecology in the hydrothermal system change over time. The second hole was drilled under set angle to explore the internal structure and architecture of Surtseyan volcanism (Jackson et al., 2015).
The preparation for the SUSTAIN project started in 2014 and strict precaution has been applied in consultation with the Environment Agency to minimise any human disturbance on the island under the drilling. Surtsey Research Society, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Vestmannaeyjar Municipality all supported this project in written letters. 
Over twenty scientists from ten countries participate in the SUSTAIN project. Further information’s are available on the project website https://surtsey50years.utah.edu/. Many scientific articles have been published about the drill holes and the results of scientific work (Surtsey Research Society, 2020). 
Under the current regime of strict protection, the Surtsey island essentially protects itself. The Surtsey Nature Reserve has, since its inception in 1965, de facto been managed in conformity with the requirements of an IUCN category 1a Strict Nature Reserve. New Management Plan (2014-2023) should strengthen further the protection, but it is important that it is fully implemented and the aims set out in the Action Plan are fulfilled. Additional promotion about the Surtsey Nature Reserve is needed under the auspice of the Environment Agency.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Highly Effective
Threats outside the site are mainly the shipping lane with large vessels sailing south of Surtsey. Oil spills, sewage and disposal of garbage waste from vessels, fishing boats and cruise ships are all of some concern. In 2009, a new regulation proposed by the Icelandic Maritime Administration delimited a zone defined as an “Area to be Avoided” that put the main shipping lane farther out south from the Reserve.
World Heritage values

Ongoing scientific research of the colonisation and succession of life

Good
Trend
Improving
The pristine volcanic island of Surtsey remains a natural laboratory of global significance for studying ongoing geological, geomorphological and ecological processes in the development of landforms and biological communities (NS report, 2007). In 2013 the 50th Anniversary of the birth of the new island and ongoing scientific research was celebrated with a conference in Reykjavík (Surtsey Research Society, 2013).
New International research project, SUSTAIN, was started in August 2007.

Ongoing process of colonization by plants and animals

Low Concern
Trend
Stable
Colonisation and ecosystem developments of terrestrial biota on Surtsey have been followed since the formation of the island (Surtsey Research Society, 2009). Thanks to strict regulations and effective management, all natural processes remain largely unaffected by human activities. Fishing with towed bottom gear is allowed in the buffer zone of the Reserve is of some concern but they are prohibited within the World Heritage site (NS report, 2007). New data is needed to monitor and evaluate the fishing activities inside the Reserve.

Pristine natural laboratory

Good
Trend
Stable
Strict regulations for research are in place and no tourists are allowed on the island. The island remains a unique natural laboratory and various long-term research projects provide important baseline and indicators concerning the response of a young island system to disturbances such as climate change (Surtsey Research Society, 2009).
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
Good
Trend
Stable
Surtsey is of outstanding global significance because of its current geological and ecological features as well as the thoroughly studied geomorphological and biophysical processes which have created them. The fact that these features and processes have remained unaffected by human activities makes Surtsey a unique natural laboratory of global significance. The island’s integrity and its values have been preserved through a very strict protection regime since 1965.
Assessment of the current state and trend of other important biodiversity values
Good
Trend
Improving
Geologist visit Surtsey every second year to measure and investigate changes in geological processes. Geothermal heat is measured and erosion on the shores are inspected, measured with GPS and compared with aerial photographs from the year before (NI, 2017).
Interesting on-going research on soil development on Surtsey and other below ground processes that are important drivers of primary succession (Sigurdsson et al., 2015).
New drilling project, SUSTAIN, will add valuable information in volcanology, hydrothermal processes, mineralogy and microbiology (Witze, 2017; Jakson et al. 2015; Jakson, 2014).

Additional information

Contribution to education
Education and interpretation programmes aim to increase awareness of the importance of the Surtsey Nature Reserve and the measures taken to protect its natural heritage. Education programmes will provide the public with a comprehensive overview of the importance the Reserve and the rationale for managing it in a pristine condition.
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Continuing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Trend - Continuing
Habitat change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Continuing
Importance for research
Long-term continuous scientific research and monitoring in Sursey contribute to the understanding of environmental changes, at present and in the future. This includes research on how volcanic islands evolve, how ecosystems develop and how climate change and invasive species could negatively affect the isolated islands environment
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Continuing
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Trend - Continuing
Habitat change
Impact level - Moderate
Trend - Continuing
Long-term continuous research and monitoring without any humans interaction inside the environment make it possible to follow the development and obtain any natural changes. However, humans activities outside the Reserve could definitely affect the island environment.
Education and interpretation programmes of Surtsey are important both inside and outside the local community. Long-term continuous scientific research and monitoring in Surtsey contribute to the understanding of environmental changes, at present and in the future.
Organization Brief description of Active Projects Website
1 Icelandic Institute of Natural History (since 1963) Birds population and breeding species of birds. Erosion by wind and water. Coastal erosion. Submarine erosion.
.
2 Icelandic Institute of Natural History (since 1965) Monitoring of plant colonisation (vascular plants, moss, lichen and fungi) and ecosystem development.
3 Icelandic Institute of Natural History (since 1964) Monitoring of the terrestrial invertebrates and colonisation.
4 Marine Research Institute (Since 1964) Monitoring of the marine benthos around Surtsey. Littoral and sublittoral zone.
5 Vör Marine Research Center at Breiðafjörður (since 1980) Observation of seals and whales. Seals breeding on Surtsey.
6 Agricultural University of Iceland (since 2000) Soil research, soil development on Surtsey, biological activity of soil and nutrient status.
7 Icelandic Institute of Natural History (since 1967) Hydrothermal system on Surtsey. Monitoring with regular measurements of heat and mapping.
8 Icelandic Institute of Natural History (since 1969) Alteration of tephra into palagonite tuff. Monitoring by measuring areas of tephra and tuff. Geological mapping.
9 Environment Agency of Iceland (since 2016) Monitoring of garbage at sea collected on Surtsey.
10 SUSTAIN, International drilling and research project Microbial colonization of tephra. The drill hole will become the Surtsey subsurface observatory for future research. Investigation of internal structure and facies architecture of the type locality of Surtseyan volcanism.

References

References
1
All published research reports by the Surtsey Research Society all available at http://surtsey.is/pp_ens/write_ref_2.htm
2
Eldheimar website (2020) <http://eldheimar.is/en/>;. Acessed August 2020
3
Heimaey (2017). Cruise ships in Heimaey 2017. http://vestmannaeyjar.is/skrar/file/skemmtiferdaskip/copy_o…. Accessed July 2017
4
IINH (2017). Icelandic Institute of Natural History Web site. News about the research expedition on Surtsey in July 2017 [Only available in Icelandic]. http://www.ni.is/frettir/2017/07/leidangur-jardfraedinga-og…. Accessed July 2017
5
IUCN Consultation. (2020). IUCN Confidential Consultation- Surtsey, Iceland. 
6
Icelandic Met Office Web Site (2015). Jarðskjálftar í apríl 2015 (Earthquakes in April 2015). [Only available in Icelandic]. http://www.vedur.is/skjalftar-og-eldgos/frodleikur/greinar/…. Accessed July 2017
7
Icelandic Nature Conservation Act (No. 60/2013) [Only available in Icelandic]. https://www.althingi.is/lagas/nuna/2013060.html. Accessed July 2017
8
Jackson, M. D. (2014). ‘New Proposed Drilling at Surtsey Volcano, Iceland.’ Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 95, issue 51, 23 December 2014. https://eos.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Jackson_Supporti…. Accessed July 2017
9
Jackson, M.D., Gudmundsson, M.T., Bach, W., Cappelletti, P., Coleman, N. J., Ivarsson, M., Jónasson, K., Jørgensen, S. L., Marteinsson, V., McPhie, J., Moore, J. G., Nielson, D., Rhodes, J. M., Rispoli, C., Schiffman, P., Stefánsson, A., Türke, A., Vanorio, T., Weisenberger, T. B., White, J. D. L., Zierenberg, R., and Zimanowski, B. (2015). ‘Time-lapse characterization of hydrothermal seawater and microbial interactions with basaltic tephra at Surtsey Volcano.’ Sci. Dril., 20, 51–58, 2015 https://www.sci-dril.net/20/51/2015/sd-20-51-2015.pdf. Accessed July 2017
10
MP (2014). Surtsey verndar- og stjórnunaráæltun 2014 (Surtsey Management Plan 2014-2023). [Only available in Icelandic]. https://www.ust.is/library/Skrar/Einstaklingar/Fridlyst-sva…. Accessed July 2017
11
Petersen Guðrún Nína and Trausti Jónsson (2020). The climate of Surtsey. Surtsey Research (2020) 14: 9-16. <https://surtsey.is/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Surtsey-2020_…; Acessed August 2020.
12
Sigurdsson, B. D. and Stefánsdóttir, G. (2015). ‘Ecosystem CO2 flux rates in relation to vegetation type and age of Leymus arenarius dunes on Surtsey.’ Surtsey Research (2015) 13: 9–15 http://surtsey.is/SRS_publ/2015-XIII/high_res/1%20Surtsey%2…. Accessed July 2017
13
State Party of Iceland (2007). Nomination of Surtsey for the UNESCO World Heritage List, 2007 http://surtsey.is/SRS_publ/WHL/Surtsey_Nomination_Report_20…
14
Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SoOUV 2008)
15
Surtsey Research 12. Surtsey Research Society 2009 http://surtsey.is/pp_ens/report/report_XII.htm
16
Surtsey Research Society (2013). Surtsey 50th Anniversary Conference, 2013. Programme and abstracts. http://surtsey.is/afm_50/Surtsey_ProgrammeAbstracts.pdf. Accessed July 2017
17
Surtsey Research Society (2015). Surtsey Research 13. http://surtsey.is/pp_isl/skyrsla/skyrsla_XIII.htm. Accessed July 2017
18
Surtsey Research Society (2020): Surtsey Research 14. <https://surtsey.is/surtsey-research-14-2020/>; Accessed August 2020.
19
Surtsey Research Society website http://surtsey.is/index_eng.htm
20
Surtsey monument (2013). News on the web about the celebration. [Only available in Icelandic]. http://www.visir.is/g/2013706069911. Accessed July 2017
21
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