A Journey to the Land of Basalt

Hafnarfjörður, Iceland – Guest Blogger Ben Kumpf (’18)


One of the many “pillow talks” the Keck students were having as they were analyzing vesicle patterns and jointing of pillow basalt. Dr. Pollock’s expertise in MORB’s and pillows along the ridge was very helpful to further research in sub-glacial eruptions.


A great view of one of the main field locations in Iceland, Undirhlíðar Quarry. This location gives the young researchers a cross sectional view of the ridge, shedding light on the stratigraphy of the Northern end of the ridge.




From left to right: Michelle Orden (Dickinson ’17) and Anna Thompson (Carleton ’17). One of the best exposures of the trip was a near vertical dike with a well preserved glassy contact.



Who would expect to find a burger in the middle of a lava field?! A little crunchy and slightly vesiculated this sub-glacial burger is packed with flavor and phenocrysts.


Vesicles and phenocrysts are great characteristics to help differentiate pillow units. The large white dots are plagioclase phenocrysts and the yellow to green dots are inclusions of olivine.




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