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  • Stanford Alpine Project

    2009 Field Trip to Iceland

    http://pangea.stanford.edu/groups/SAP/

    STAN

    FORD

    U

    NIVERS

    ITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES

    STANFORD ALPINE PR

    OJEC

    T

  • 1991: European Alps 1993: Canadian Rockies1995: New Zealand1997: South Africa1999: New Zealand 2002: Great Britain2005: Guatemala

    2009: Iceland

    Participants and authors of this field guide:Kyle Anderson Fraser Cameron Mara Helga Gumundsdttir Marianne Karplus Simon Klemperer Simone Manganelli Mark McClure Kevan Moffett Chinyere Nwabugwu Voke Origbo Sharmini Pitter Ellen Schaal

    Compilation and editing of field guide: Simon KlempererMara Helga GumundsdttirSimone ManganelliKyle AndersonSharmini Pitter

    Stanford Alpine Project Leadership, 2008-2009: President: Simone Manganelli Financial Officer: Ellen Schaal Webmaster: Marianne Karplus

  • Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrival; Reykjanes Peninsula (Reykjavk)

    Day 2: ingvellir, Gulfoss, Geysir (Reykjavk)

    Day 3: Hellisheii, Heimaey (Heimaey)

    Day 4: South Iceland Seismic Zone; Hekla (Klaustur)

    Day 5: Lakaggar (Klaustur)

    Day 6: Skeiarrsandur, Skaftafell (Hfn)

    Day 7: Geitafell (Hfn)

    Day 8: Eastern Fjords (Mvatn)

    Day 9: Dimmuborgir, Krafla (Mvatn)

    Day 10: Jkulsrgljfur, Tjrnes Fracture Zone (Hsavk)

    Day 11: Flatey Fault, Akureyri (Sberg)

    Day 12: Borgarnes, Reykholt, Hsafell (Reykjavk)

    Day 13: Reykjavk; Departure

  • Presidents Foreword

    Stanford, California, August 2010

    The guidebook you see in the following pages represents the culmination of the Stanford Alpine Projects most recent trip to Iceland, which occurred in September of 2009. Countless hours were spent by eleven Stanford students and one professor, finding, organizing, and putting together the massive number of pages that follow. It includes excerpts, figures, and information gleaned from the most relevant papers and Icelandic field guides we could find while we prepared for our trip. It also includes many of our own photos, as well as GPS locations that we hope will help others find the locations of the outcrops mentioned in this text. An entire year after the trip was spent formatting, adding information about costs, modifying recommended routes, and inserting tips to help future geologists organize their own trips to Iceland.

    Needless to say, this guidebook was a massive undertaking. Were exhausted, but glad to have a final, revised version of our guidebook that we are proud to give to anybody who is interested in the geology of Iceland or who is planning a trip there.

    A PDF version of this guidebook, complete with searchable text and high-resolution versions of some of the figures, is available at SAPs website at http://pangea.stanford.edu/groups/SAP/ . Feel free to pass this guidebook along to others who can make use of it. If youre so inclined, wed love to hear about your experiences in Iceland with our guidebook; SAPs most up-to-date contact information can always be found at our website.

    SAP was founded by students in the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences in 1989. Following the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the students organized a sale of office furniture that was to be replaced during restoration and used the funds for the first SAP trip to the European Alps in 1991. Since that time, SAP has continued to organize educational earth science trips to international locations every 2-4 years. Other destinations include the Canadian Rockies in 1993, Alaska in 1995, South Africa in 1997, New Zealand in 1999, Great Britain in 2002, Baja California in 2004, and Guatemala in 2005. Although membership in the group has traditionally been comprised primarily of graduate students in the geosciences, SAP welcomes students of all backgrounds and at all levels who have a committed interest in earth science.

    Preparations for the trip to Iceland began in the 20072008 academic year with fundraising through bake sales, our annual Pi Day and Chili Cook-Off, and various other activities. Academic and logistical preparations followed in 20082009 in seminars led by our faculty advisor, Professor Simon Klemperer from the Department of Geophysics. These culminated with each students writing a guidebook day based on pre-existing field guides and literature review for the area and arranging accommodations, tour reservations, etc., for the day in question. Following the trip, these guidebook days were revised to reflect what we saw and learned on the ground; this volume contains the final result of those revisions.

    The expedition lasted fourteen days, from September 1st to 14th, including travel between Stanford and Iceland; there were twelve participants. The total cost of the trip came to approximately $1880 per person, including airfare, rental cars, food, lodging, and miscellaneous museum and tour fees. Participants contributed $700 each toward their expenses, with the remaining costs defrayed by fundraising and support from sponsors. We lodged in hostels, at some of which we had to provide our own bedding; contact information and nightly rates are provided at the beginning of each day. We cooked most of our own meals and packed lunches, but some of our hostels provided breakfast, and on a few occasions we ate out. Our overall food expenses came to $140 per person for the whole trip. We rented two Toyota Hiace vehicles, which seated 6 people plus luggage very comfortably, from Blaleiga Akureyrar. The cost of the vehicle rental, including mileage charges and gas, was $5330.

  • This trip would not have been a success without the help and generosity of many individuals. First and foremost, our thanks are due to Simon Klemperer, our indefatigable faculty mentor, who helped us stay on target and encouraged us to hold our work to high standards. We are indebted to several Icelandic geologists who provided us with invaluable assistance. Stefn Arnrsson, Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Iceland, helped us arrange our rental cars. rinn Fririksson of Iceland Geosurvey guided us on our first day at Reykjanes and was a great resource to us in writing the guidebook, as was orsteinn (Thor) orsteinsson of the Iceland Meteorological Office, who guided us in Borgarfjrur on Day 12. Halldra Hreggvisdttir, manager of Alta Consulting, and her family showed us great kindness and hospitality in inviting us all to dine at their home upon our return to Reykjavk.

    We also wish to thank the Deans Office of the School of Earth Sciences and the Departments of Energy Resources Engineering, Environmental Earth System Science, Geological and Environmental Sciences, and Geophysics for their generous support of our trip. The Graduate Student Council, The Axe and Palm, the Stanford Bookstore, Bytes Caf, Aquarius Theater, The Caf, Cafe Sophia, Keeble & Shuchat Photography, Avenue Florist, and Village Stationers all sponsored our fundraisers for the Iceland trip.

    Last, and absolutely and positively not least, wed like to thank anyone who has contributed to our efforts by so much as donating even a dollar at our bake sales, in return for our scrumptious, freshly-baked cookies or our T-shirts. Believe it or not, donations from our bake sales comprise a not insignificant portion of funding for our trips.

    Following the success of the Iceland trip, SAP will continue to enable enthusiastic geoscience students explore the world beyond our borders. Planning is currently underway for our next adventure, which will take us to the Himalaya of northwestern India in the late summer of 2011!

    Have fun perusing the pages of this guidebook, and we hope you find it as valuable as we did.

    Simone Manganelli, SAP President 20082009

    Mara Helga Gumundsdttir, SAP President 20092011

  • Introduction: General Information.Compiled by: Kyle Anderson

    with contributions from

    Mara Helga Gumundsdttir (Icelandic culture)Simone Manganelli (igneous petrology)

    Mark McClure (geothermal energy)

    0-1

  • Geologic History

    Fig. 0.1. Geologic time table from Iceland. (Hoskuldsson et al., 2008)

    Era Period Epoch Age Stage Sub-Stage Formations Events

    Cai

    nozo

    ic

    Qua

    tern

    ary

    Hol

    ocen

    e

    02.5ky

    Late Bog Period (sub-Atlantic)

    Upp

    er P

    leis

    toce

    ne F

    orm

    atio

    n

    5.0ky Late Birch Period

    (sub Boreal)

    7.2ky Early Bog Period

    (Atlantic)

    9.3ky Early Birch Period

    (Boreal)

    10ky laeroB-erP

    Upp

    er

    Plei

    stoc

    ene

    11Ky Younger Dryas Ice Age glacier disappears

    12ky Weichselian Allerd Fossvogur sediments accumulate

    20ky Older Dryas

    70ky Last glacial stage

    130ky Eemian etalumucca stnemides rugovaillE

    Last interglacial

    170ky Saale

    Second last glacial stage

    700ky etalumucca stnemides llefanvS

    Low

    er P

    leis

    toce

    ne

    2.5my

    Plio

    -Ple

    isto

    cene

    For

    mat

    ion

    Rausgj tillite

    Breiavk tillite and sediments

    Furuvk tillite formed Full scale glaciation

    Ter

    tiary

    Plio

    cene

    3.3my

    gnitalumucca pots stnemides senrjT

    Pacific Ocean fauna arrives in Iceland Bearing strait opens

    7my

    The

    Ter

    tiary

    Bas

    alt F

    orm

    atio

    n

    Tjrnes sediments begin to form

    First sign of cooling climate

    Upp

    er

    Mio

    cene

    12my. Warm temperate climate

    Mid

    dle

    Mio

    cene

    18my

    Oldest rock on land.

    Ear

    ly

    Mio

    cene

    25my

    Birth of Iceland

    0-2