Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Iceland: a round up

Iceland. Photo: John Stevenson, 2012


I flew back from Iceland (24hr sun, clear blue skies, no rain) to the UK (dark, rain, floods) last Thursday. Apart from readjusting to a life that doesn't invole living in a campervan and searching for tephra layers in Iceland's soil, I've been thinking that a sign posting summary of the trip would be useful for finding bits and pieces and highlighting the blogs and websites I have found particularly useful whilst in Iceland.


 Where to start:



It's best to begin with my post on an introduction to Iceland and the research I was assisting John with: sampling ash that was erupted from Hekla from two eruptions - Hekla 3 and Hekla 4. This post also explains why we were sampling ash and how this could assist with estimating the impact from future volcanic eruptions. 


To understand exactly how we were identifying and measuring the ash, read this post on the sampling process. It's not just a case of digging a hole in a ground and sifting through soil though, as this post explains. The ash layers from the Hekla 3 and 4 eruptions can be found across Iceland, including the impressive eastern fjords area and the mountains north of the Vatnajökull ice cap, which are stacked full of interesting human and physical geography, as well as Iceland's highest mountain (climbed by the intrepid ash samplers, of course.)


Finally, there is a post on how the Hekla 3 and 4 eruptions compared to the more recent Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010particularly in terms of the amount of tephra that was erupted.


Useful information sites for Iceland:


For getting information and news from Iceland
  • A separate section of the above website shows you recent tectonic activity across Iceland. It's quite interesting to monitor the eruptions around Katla (Mýrdalsjökull  area)
  • The Iceland Review website is useful for catching up on a range of news stories
  • The Grapevine is another great website for catching up on news and comment from Iceland.


Geology blogs:


I've found the following blogs very useful for reading up on volcano and general geology information:

  • Volcan01010 - John's website provides lots of information on volcanoes generally as well as vulcanology specific to Iceland.
  • Highly  allochthonous  - Lots of useful information on all things geology as well as a very useful weekly twitter link to geology/environment related news and stories.
  • Metageologist. - Great website on the geology of mountains written in a very easy to understand way.

Hopefully those links will be of interest. Enjoy!


Enjoying the light. Photo: Alasdair Monteith, 2012




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