Field excursion to the southeast of Iceland

28 April 2023
Field excursion to the southeast of Iceland

The GRÓ LRT fellows went on a three-day excursion to the south and southeast of Iceland this week. The focus of this excursion was on climate change and its effects on ecosystems and societies.

The fellows visited the Visitor Centre of the Vatnajökull National Park in Skaftafell and learned about the parks natural and cultural heritage. They walked up to the Skaftafellsjökull outlet glacier and observed how the glacier has retreated for the last 100 years and how the rate of retreat and thinning has increased in the last decades.

The fellows met with local experts from the University of Iceland Research Center and Vatnajökull National Park at Höfn in Hornafjörður, to discuss the effects of climate change on Iceland´s glaciers, the tourism and the national park management. They also learned about the Skógey area, where sediments in glacial floodwaters led to sandstorms and consequent destruction of vegetation and trouble for local inhabitants in last century. This area has now been restored, creating a new wetland ecosystem.

On the way, the fellows also enjoyed the main tourist sites along the south coast such as the Skógafoss Waterfall and the Glacier Lagoon.