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26 April 2017

Pseudocraters at Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Near the southern end of Lake Mývatn, astride the Mid-Atlantic Rift in northern Iceland, lies a field of “pseudocraters” that result from steam explosions beneath a fresh lava flow. Put on your head-net and join us to check it out!


7 February 2017

Basaltic strata, faulting, and glaciation in western Iceland

Today, let’s journey to Iceland, to a bit northwest of Reykjavík. This is a view from the top of the Grábrók cinder cone, across the valley to the east. With very few exceptions, Iceland is a big pile of basalt, and that shows through in the walls of this valley, which display a stack of basaltic lava flows, intercalated in places with pyroclastic debris or volcaniclastic sediment. One portion of …


25 January 2017

Y-shaped joints on a basalt flow, Lake Mývatn, Iceland

A basalt flow in Iceland shows both enticing pahoehoe and fractures with a Y-shaped intersection pattern. Comparisons to bread loaves and east Africa suggest a reason why.


5 December 2016

Cinder cones in Iceland (with lichen)

What makes an Icelandic cinder cone even better? A coating of fuzzy lichens, perhaps…


19 October 2016

Oddball Icelandic rocks, part III: conglomerate

At the Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur, I learned that Iceland has fossils. Specifically, they have a display of bivalve (clam) fossils there, and when I asked where to find them, I was directed to a point further east on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The next day, I set off to find them. Here was what I saw on a cliff high above me, at the spot nearest to where I thought …


10 October 2016

Oddball Icelandic rocks, part II: granite!?!?

Silly Iceland! Don’t you know you’re not a continent?


6 October 2016

Oddball Icelandic rocks, part I: A green ignimbrite

Iceland does basalt really, really well. But there are a few non-basaltic igneous rocks to be found there, too. One of them is a green ignimbrite (pyroclastic conglomerate) that crops out in coastal Berufjörður, eastern Iceland. Check it out!


5 October 2016

Hverir, Mývatn, Iceland

Today, I offer up a few photos and some video from the Hverir geothermal area on the east side of Mývatn National Park in Iceland – a rift zone astride the central Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and thus an area where you would expect to see a high heat flow through the crust. Heat interacting with meteoric water produces geothermal features: hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, and mud pots (where the groundwater is …


21 September 2016


Based on this photo, what do you think Stađarbjargavík might have to offer? If you guessed columnar jointing in basalt, you’d be right! Looking down the fjord, south of Hofsós (in Iceland): The place is basically a series of miniature Giant’s Causeways, full of unpopulated exemplars of cooling columns! Little coves separate the small peninsulas, each filled with rounded column bits: Here’s a spot where one more is about to …


14 September 2016

Pillows in Icelandic basalts

Time is short these days, but I know you hanker for amazing geology. How about some pillow basalts from the Snæfellsnes* Peninsula, far western Iceland? Note the cm-demarcated pencil for scale. See if you can find it in the GigaPan version below: [gigapan id=”188175″] Link Handheld GigaPan by Callan Bentley, stitched with Microsoft ICE _________________________ * “Snay full snooze”


18 June 2016

Two virtual weathered-out dikes in a fjord in eastern Iceland

Two 3D models for you today, both produced by my student Marissa Dudek, using photo sets I gathered in Iceland: [sketchfab id=”4f2b60fc7045452799ed226b7e0d04a9″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Photoscan model by Marissa Dudek (That one has paleomag holes drilled into it!) [sketchfab id=”294c341a817241ecbbdecbf8107cd257″ start=”0″ spin=”” controls=”0″] Photoscan model by Marissa Dudek (That one I’m particularly pleased with. Given the circumstances of image acquisition, this is a very good result!)


17 June 2016

Friday fold: isoclinal flow structures in Icelandic lava

While soaking at some fine outdoor hot springs in southern Iceland (near Höfn) last week, I spied a Friday fold on the rock wall above the hot pots: Iceland is not a place where we would expect to find ductile folds in already-lithified rocks, so I’m guessing that these are folds related to flow in the lavas as they erupted at the surface. Happy Friday!


16 June 2016

Dimmuborgir, Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Last week, I was in Iceland, driving around the country’s Ring Road and checking out its amazing geology with my family. We had a great time in particular exploring in the Lake Mývatn region, on the country’s subaerial expression of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Lake Mývatn itself is in a rift basin, peppered with a great variety of volcanic and hydrothermal features. One spot we enjoyed a short stroll was in …


3 October 2013

Sand fom Þorlákshöfn, Iceland, under the GIGAmacro lens

I think this one of the most fascinating batches of sand we’ve yet had the pleasure of macro-GigaPanning: [gigapan id=”140392″] link So much igneous goodness hidden in those grains, collected from a beach on the south of Iceland… The image was made by Robin Rohrback-Schiavone (my student at NOVA) as part of the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (M.A.G.I.C.). The sand sample was donated by my colleague Beth Doyle. Thanks to both …