The VIPS-team (Emma, Taylor, Tobias) – Uppsala University
Reykjavik, cloudy, 10 °C: our Iceland adventures begins with a seven-hour ride along the Icelandic ring road to our final destination. Along the way we made stops at the touristy spots of Skógasafn and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for the southern-Iceland newcomers Taylor and Tobias. And finally, after our car seats started to feel like they were moulded after our backside anatomies, we arrived at our base close to the city of Höfn.
The first two days of our field work started with some special conditions: Our PI, Steffi Burchardt was being followed and interviewed by a film-crew for a documentary about her work. This movie is part of the Wallenberg Academic Fellow Grant funded through the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and will be available in Swedish and English later during the year. Have you ever been filmed during field work? – It is a fun experience, but with many unique specialties. For example, it feels funny when you are asked to cross a river three times to meet with your colleagues in the field and start the same discussion. Or that we had to wear the same clothes on the second day, despite the fact that the weather changed from sun-cloudy to drizzling rain (no rain jacket allowed!). Anyhow, in hindsight it was a great experience and if you ever have the chance to be filmed in the field or for your work – do it (we say this without having seen the final product yet)!
On the third day the film-crew was gone and the weather became amazing! Iceland experienced a heat wave and so we ended up having 18°C and sunshine during the day. Our motivation was high and the tasks assigned by Emma were all done in time. Sometimes, there was even time to take a refreshing shower in one of the many hidden waterfalls after a long day in the field. With the nice weather everything bloomed and we were able to experience Iceland’s beautiful nature with Lupin flower fields along the roads. The flipside of this beauty, if you travel to Iceland with the hope of escaping your hay fever because of the cold and rocky terrain, you will be harshly disappointed! And so, the VIPS-team shared the fate of running noses and puffy eyes to which antihistamine only buffered to various degrees.
What did we do in Iceland? We had a look at different roof contacts and features of the Reyðará-Pluton. Our fifth member always with us—Daisy, the DJI Phantom 4Pro drone—was put hard to work photographing the contact and host rock. She would reach heights up to 800 m off the ground! Such a bird’s eye view is a luxury that geologists of the past could only dream of. The remainder of the VIPS team were sent out to set ground control points. This allowed Emma to precisely map the shape and morphology of the pluton and features within its surrounding host rock. Hopefully from this data we will be able to detail the emplacement history and how sections of the pluton responded to eruption. We also got to take our hammers out and grab samples for further geochemical analysis. The Reyðará-Pluton is a rich example of felsic magma-magma interaction as well as the effect of magma on the surrounding host rock.
Now we are back in the office, collating all the data, cutting the rocks and enjoying our rare Icelandic tans.