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Geology of the North Vatnajökull Area

Themes: Elements of Geology, Geological Materials, Landscape,
Countries: iceland 
Attachments: images(2)  documents(2) 

At Egilsstaðir Upper Secondary School geology teachers have designed a semester-long geo-science education module that consists of a three-day-long field trip in the highlands north of Vatnajökull and meetings once a week for 14 weeks, where the students process their findings and plan their research. Students prepare their researchwork and present it in a short conference at the end of the semester.
This module is aimed at graduation students aged 17-20, having natural science as a major and it‘s main goals are:

  • to introduce the students to the area
  • to give students insight to geological fieldwork and research
  • to experience the highland surroundings and the nature of the area.

Each research group:

  • covers and discusses one main volcano or glacier from the main ice sheet in the area, through observation and written references
  • samples a specimen from one glacial river and measures the amount of alluvial sediments to estimatethe glacial erosion from the bedrock
  • takes one cross section of soil with tephra layers and determines from which eruptions they came, to determine soil thickening speed e.t.c.
  • One group creates a rock collection and tries to determine bedrock erosion from secondary minerals
  • Another group covers glaciers and glaciation in the area
  • The third group covers volcanic formations, rock types, pyroclastic forms etc.

Specimen sampling is in consult with the rangers at Vatnajökull National Park.

The aim of the study module is to offer it as a guest course at other secondary schools in Iceland.


Learning Resources