Tubes, Trolls, and the West Wall

July 4th, 2011

HAFNARFJORDUR, ICELAND- [guest bloggers Travis and Lindsey]

We only spent about 2 hours in Undirhlíðar yesterday due to the gale force winds that sent basalt shrapnel flying into our faces, in particular our eyeballs. It wasn’t raining luckily, as raindrops probably would have been lethal at that wind speed. We made an awesome discovery though on the Northeast wall- A lava tube! We were climbing up a talus pile when we noticed the hole leading down into the wall.

Travis is either falling in or being dragged in by a troll.

Here is what Travis and I hypothesized:
1. Troll den
2. Center of the earth
3. Dinosaurs
Unfortunately, Dr. Pollock didn’t let Travis get into the lava tube, though he tried his best to convince her. Reasons Travis thought getting inside the lava tube was a good idea:
1. We would find the base of the pillow unit
2. She would become the most famous geologist of all time
3. Dr. Wilson would let me
Reasons Dr. Pollock said no:
1. Because I said so

Travis may be convinced not to go into the lava tube but Lindsey still clings to the idea.

We then moved on to the West wall and found basalt that looked drastically different than anything we had found in the East wall.

The West Wall, Undirlihdar Quarry.

Sizable olivine and plagioclase crystals were in all of the rock units we saw in the Southern end of the West wall.

 

Large olivine phenocrysts within the basalts of the west wall!

Today is our last day of field work in the quarries, we’ll keep you updated on our continued adventures.

6 Responses to “Tubes, Trolls, and the West Wall”

  1. Mark Wilsonon 04 Jul 2011 at 8:03 am

    It’s true: I would have let Travis slither down the lava tube. This is why I always take two students — I always have a spare.

  2. Nick Fedorchukon 04 Jul 2011 at 8:54 am

    Why didn’t you let him go in the lava tube, Dr Pollock? You could have become the most famous geologist of all time.

  3. Becky Alcornon 04 Jul 2011 at 4:43 pm

    You should have let them go into the lava tube and then bailed and gone to the Blue Lagoon. Were those olivine crystals in pillows?

  4. Meagen's Pollockon 04 Jul 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks, Becky. I hadn’t thought of that! Yes, those olivine crystals are in the pillows on the west wall. Beautiful, huh?

  5. Lindsey Bowmanon 04 Jul 2011 at 5:36 pm

    The olivine was amazing in the west wall pillows Becky! Did you see them last year? As far as Dr. Pollock bailing, I know she could never do that-she needs us to cook her dinner and carry her gear.

  6. Becky Alcornon 05 Jul 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Well at least she’s getting some use out of you two. The olivine crystals are awesome! I want to know what they’re doing in the pillows though. Completely different pillows from the south wall?

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