mpollock June 28th, 2009
We made it to Iceland! We landed Friday morning and have been busy having fun (and seeing great geology). Our chefs have been cooking excellent meals.
All of the food has been fantastic, especially the cheese. Todd likes it so much, he bought a whole block of it for himself! Rob and Todd have eaten fish for every meal and plan to continue for the entire trip.
As soon as we landed, we traveled along the southern coast to meet a group of geologists on a field trip. We’ve seen glorious columnar joints, complicated intermingled granophyre and basalt, and highly altered hyaloclastite. We also ventured all over a glacier, where we drank some melt water and stood in a glacial cave.
At one stop, we walked along a black sand beach. Well, most of us did.
Todd and Rob made rock sculptures and signed the sand.
Just down the road, we visited the Dyrholaey bird sanctuary. The basaltic lavas and hyaloclastites have been carved into interesting shapes by the crashing waves.
Hyaloclastites are glassy fractured rocks formed when lava erupts explosively in water. One of us attempted to find the source of the lava…in the COLD Atlantic ocean.
In Hveragerdi, we observed the effects of the hotspot in action. We hiked along a trail that had fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pots. The local stream is heated by drainage from the hot springs and serves as a natural hot tub.
We’re in Hafnarfjordur tonight, staying with Steina, one of our Icelandic colleagues. Tomorrow starts our field work – we’re headed to Todd’s site: Undirhlithar.