Fieldwork, Iceland

Day 2 – Going for an explore

Our first trip into the field sees us exploring potential sites at two main localities: Namafjall and Krafla. Both are characterised by beautifully coloured hydrothermally-altered basaltic terrain, and we spend the day balancing scientific value versus practicality as the afternoon gradually becomes colder, windier, and wetter. In the end, despite the impressiveness of the expansive lava flows at Krafla, Namafjall wins with a fantastic variety of sites ideal for testing the scientific capabilities of the ExoMars PanCam. The only downside: the persistent eggy smell of hydrogen sulfide wafting it’s way down from the nearby bubbling hot springs, and the occasional wandering tourist:

NamafjallWe spend the evening plotting the deployment of our arsenal of spectrometers, PanCam emulator, calibration targets, and geology hammer, whilst the much more pleasant smell of roast Icelandic lamb makes its way through the house.