Iceland Fieldwork 2015 (aka 50 Shades of Grey)

Another summer, another trip to Iceland! However, instead of sampling the usual volcanic and hydrothermal deposits and environments, this visit was focused on one thing only: sediments. Sedimentary deposits have become a key focus of ongoing Mars exploration. This is because of their association with long-lived liquid water habitats (such as fluvial-lacustrine deposits), and preservation…

Mars analogue adventures in Iceland 2014

Landing into Keflavik airport has become a familiar sight, as the vast flat expanse of moss-covered lava flows stretches out into a horizon of cold grey clouds as we approach the runway. This is my ninth trip to Iceland, and for this trip we are sampling from various sites in the northeast – some old, some…

Deep Carbon Science at Yellowstone National Park

The Rocky Mountains and a big blue Montana sky provided the backdrop for the Deep Carbon Observatory summer school this month. Thirty PhD students and postdocs from across the globe came to learn about carbon cycling at Yellowstone National Park. Organised by Adrian Jones (University College London) and John Baross (University of Washington), this summer school…

Iceland fieldwork 2013: field video released!

Birkbeck, University of London have released a short field-video we made documenting our July 2013 Mars-analogue fieldwork. This fieldwork was carried out as part of PhD student Jennifer Harris’s research on using reflectance spectroscopy and multispectral imaging to search for evidence of past habitability on Mars. To see the video, follow this link:  http://media.bloomsburymediacloud.org/media/iceland-field-trip-2013

Dramatic drainage at Kverkfjoll

A few days ago, on the 16th August, the large geothermal lake ‘Gengissig’ that sits atop the volcanic system of Kverkfjoll in central Iceland, emptied spectacularly producing a small jökulhlaup. This area has been a major focus for my research over the past few years, using it to address problems ranging from the identification of…

Disko Part 10: Time to leave

It is our last day on Disko Island. We are scheduled to depart our temporary Arctic home later this evening at 6.30pm, on the same Disko Line ferry that brought us here 9 days ago. Whilst we have finished sampling, there is still much to do. Samples need to be packed and dropped off with…

Disko Part 9: Foiled by the weather

Today is our last full sampling day on Disko Island. We get up early to make the most of it, fill our bags with food, water, and sampling equipment, and head off on the steep, scrambly trek to Lyngmark Glacier. As we advance up the contour lines, the sky becomes less and less welcoming –…

Disko Part 7: Lyngmark glacier

After the inconvenience of the rucksack incident, we were looking forward to an afternoon of sampling and hiking along a well-established (and marked!) route up and around Lyngmark glacier. We weren’t sure what to expect, as it seems everything to do with Disko Island is very under-studied and little researched. The hike up is steep,…