This afternoon we were set free to do as we pleased, so while other Terrascopers slept or went shopping or did various other exciting activities (check out their blog posts), a group of us went on a excursion into the outskirts of Reykjavik. Led by our guides from Reykjavik University and Professor Sam Bowring (Course 12), we took a road trip to explore the geology of Iceland.
Located right along the mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland is home to some really beautiful geological formations. We got to see stretches of land created by lava flows from volcanic eruptions hundreds of thousands of years ago. At another outcrop, our guide explained that the flow had covered a body of water, which then built up pressure under the rock as it was heated, until the rock burst. We also climbed a slope of pillow basalt, fragmented rocks that were the result of lava that had flowed under now-melted glaciers. It was simply amazing how a natural process that happened so long ago could be frozen in time—and rediscovered after so many years by scientists who can look at the shape and structure and composition of the rocks to piece together exactly what happened.
Even though I didn’t know very much about rocks or geology (definitely not nearly as much as the EAPS students did), I had a great time, and I definitely learned a lot. To add to the experience, the sky was clear for the first time this week, and we got to take some really nice photos.