Two UVM geology students just returned from a two-week field experience in Iceland. The trip was led by Charlotte Mehrtens, UVM emeritus professor of geology, and Barb Tewksbury, professor of geosciences at Hamilton College. Sophomore Emma Robinson and senior Landon Williamson joined several students from Hamilton students on the joint trip.
"There were several goals we had for the field excursion," explained Mehrtens. "Most important is observing Iceland’s location astride an active tectonic plate boundary, where new ocean crust is being created. Quite literally, there is nowhere else on earth where you can view the processes (volcanism and faulting) and products of ocean crust creation."
Students examined Iceland’s geothermal resources: geysers, hot springs, fumeroles and geothermal power plants. Field work also examined the role of glaciation in sculpting the Icelandic landscape, and how global climate change is impacting Iceland’s glaciers.