Eyjafjallajökull tephra fieldwork, July 2011

What a great trip. We got lots of samples that we wanted and were blessed with the weather. The Landrover didn´t break down, we saw old friends and old haunts and explored some beautiful places that I had never seen before.

Sampling Layer H tephra from Eyjafjallajökull, deposited around 1500 years ago

We should now have enough data points of thickness and samples for grain size analyses and deposit density to make significant progress with plans.

Eyjafjallajökull 2010 and Grímsvötn 2011 tephra being blown around
Some things that really struck me while we were away are a) that exponential thinning of tephra layers is certainly very close to being how things are (wow, it is hard to find where the layer goes from a trace to zero!), b) Þórsmörk is stunning especially if you cross a few dodgy looking paths and head away from the tourists, c) tephra blows around a lot after it is deposited so how can we assume geological records are good representations of the actual tephra at time of deposition? and d) Fieldwork is great and even better with good company (thanks Iveta).

Camping near Gígjökull: note the heather has coped least well with the recent ash falls

Katla in the distance under the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull. This is the Markarfljót, route of many prehistoric jökulhlaups.