Southeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting (March 17–18, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


KRUEGER, Thaddeus C.1, RAVENEL, Elizabeth H.1, KINGTON, Joseph D.2, FRIÐRIKSSON, Thráinn3 and REYNOLDS, Jim1, (1)Geology Program, Brevard College, 400 North Broad St, Brevard, NC 28712, (2)Earth Science Department, Tennesseee Technological Univ, Cookeville, TN 38505, (3)Geochemistry, Iceland Geol Survey, Reykjavík, 108, Iceland,

To promote student interest in international geology, GSA’s 2004 student trip to Iceland followed approximately the same path as the 2002 trip. Eleven students and one leader, representing nine colleges and universities, one in the UK, met in Reykjavík in mid-July for a two-week camping excursion around Iceland’s Ring Road.

Traveling in a small, chartered bus towing a kitchen trailer, students used their own camping equipment and rotated shared cooking duties. A large communal dining tent, equipped with tables and chairs, served as a focal point for evening activities. Modern campsites provided relative luxury in spite of a frequent cloud cover and drizzle. Some areas warranted more than a single night’s stay. These were Mývatn in the northeast, Skaftafell National Park in the south and Landmannalaugar in the southwest.

Field activities focused primarily on extensional tectonics, volcanism, and glaciers. Themes such as stream and coastal erosion, zeolite formation, magma mixing, geothermal and periglacial phenomena, mass movement, and near-surface hydrology were also discussed. More than 50 km of optional hikes were offered. These included hikes through volcanic centers at Krafla and Askja calderas, the Skutustaðir rootless craters, Hverfell tuff cone, Hrossaborg, and Landmannalaugar. Rifting was investigated at Þingvellir, Lakagigar, Eldgjá, Namafjäll Hverir, and Krafla. Most people toured the Landmannalaugar area from the backs of Icelandic ponies. Glacial experiences included the Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon and a hike along a valley glacier descending from the Vatnajökull ice cap in Skaftafell National Park. Jökullhlaup scouring and deposition was discussed on the Odaðahraun lava field and at the Skeiðarársandur. Geothermal sites included Hveravellir, Namafjäll Hverir, Krafla, Askja Viti, and Landmannalaugar. Numerous waterfalls and lava flows were also examined to break up the drive between campsites; of particular interest were Gullfoss, Goðfoss, Drekagil, and Swartifoss.

The trip culminated in Reykjavík with an afternoon of shopping and a good-bye dinner. After a visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa the following morning, the group went to the airport and said farewell as people boarded their respective flights. None felt that this would be their final foray into international geology.