|Ash sampling through Iceland, the journey so far.... Red line marks our route, blue marks the van camp stops|
|The effects of frost action on a basalt rock. Photo: Alasdair Monteith, 2012|
|Ridge above Bakkagerdi. Photo: Alasdair Monteith, 2012|
The route to Bakkagerdi, a small hamlet accessible by only one coastal road, was quite an experience. Faced with what would appear to be an insurmountable scree slope the Icelanders had simply ploughed a gravel track straight through the middle and are prepared to clear up whenever an avalanche or landslip takes it out. Tarmac is for whimps!
|The Borgarfjördur scree/track towards Bakkagerdi. Photo: Alasdair Monteith, 2012|
The ash layers, they are a'changing
The ash layers we've been finding in the sampling pits have also changed the further east we have come. Where as previously the Hekla 3 and 4 layers stood out quite prominently (not least because they are predominately rhyolite and so white), quite a few black and white layers have appeared which we think represent eruptions from Hekla 1158 near the middle of the pits and Askja 1875 near the top of the pits. The 1875 layer included some quite impressive pumice lapilli when we sampled in the Mödrudalur area. As we are now east of many of Iceland's volcanoes this change in pit profile was to be expected, it certainly means that every sample pit is different and surprising!
Continuing down the fjords and east coast tomorrow before winding our way back to Reykjavik on