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Iceland – Day something – Progress

Those following this may have noticed a brief gap – after our first excursion it was all hands on lab and I have been running microscopy techniques since. With long days in the field, long days in the lab and planning meetings going until 11 every night, fieldwork soon starts to catch up with you.

Not that the last few days have been anything other than productive. Our field team headed out to Heimay, a small island off the south coast of Iceland that experienced a volcanic eruption in 1973. Our other field site, which the field team hit the next day is Landmannalaugar, a much older (but incredibly pretty) site.

The team at the Fimmvörðuháls lava field

The team at the Fimmvörðuháls lava field

After the two excursions, the whole team made the decision to stay at base and consolidate what had been happening so far. It meant we lost a day of sampling, but gave us: a) a well needed lie-in, b) a chance to work through analysing the samples we had collected in the previous days, c) the opportunity for some of the group to make headway evolving the strategy for the rest of the week and d) to really stop and think about our objectives for the expedition.

The ‘work-day’ proved to be a good choice and now we have much clearer goals and sampling strategies. Given that, the field group set off back to Fimmvörðuháls today to take a set of systematic samples that would allow us to begin to answer our science questions, while the lab team went about setting up the analysis protocols that will be used for the rest of the week.

The field lab at Hvolsskoli

The field lab at Hvolsskoli

It was also a special day, one of our group member’s birthday and so there was much rejoicing over a delicious bowl of chilli followed by pudding and cakes.

Landpuddinglaugar

Landpuddinglaugar

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