Site 1 - Seltun, Reykjanes Peninsula

After loading our trusty 4x4 Suzuki Jimny with our sampling gear, we headed off heading west from Reykjavik. Leaving the highway to go in the direction of Kruysuvik, the paved road soon ended (I love that about Iceland, the driving is always so much fun!). Thankfully the rain had stopped by the time we got to our destination, which was visible miles from the destination by the billowing of steam emanating from the site!

The red arrow shows the location of Seltun

Arrival at Seltun

The source of the steam visible from liles away! Person on path for scale

Seltun is interesting because it is a volcanic center on the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Lava eruptions nearby in the 12th century reached the ocean. Other eruptions occurred later in the 14th century.

Seltun is indicated in the middle.
You can see the lava flow that reached the ocean in 1151!

Because it was quite heavy with tourists and we'd be sampling off the boardwalk, Katie and I decided to hike around and check out which spring we wanted to sample. Turns out this was difficult as I have to filter all the water and the spring waters were all muddy! The hike was gorgeous though as you can glimpse from these pictures (all courtesy Katie Sopher)

Trying to figure out the sampling strategy.. or just mesmerized by the site :)

On the boardwalk

Some springs are just not safe to access ...

... so the boardwalk remains the safest place from which to sample the springs

Steam, everywhere steam!

hellish and beautiful

Seltun parking load in the background and gorgeous flora in the foreground

Dried up mud-pot

Inactive springs reveal stunning colors! Here mostly due to sulfur and sulfur minerals

Careful! Hot!

The hike was insightful. From the Seltun parking lot, only the boardwalk allows safe access to the hot springs there. Those that are higher up are not safe. In one area, there was so much steam inside a "crater" (probably leftover from a maar) that the boiling springs where not visible, yet you could hear them grumble away below. Surely the entrance to hell. Jules Verne was not wrong in stating that the entrance to the center of the Earth was in Iceland (albeit in the Snaefells volcano, which is 3 hrs drive away from Seltun). Seltun turns out to be not ideal for what I'm doing, since my chemical analyses require clear water, and all the waters here are muddy. Thankfully I have filters, but these will clog up fast! 

We settled on a small spring that was not too cloudy (but still too much for my taste). Here is me hauling my gear to it and some views of the little spring (small but mighty! It was bubbling vigorously)

The yellow box i'm carrying is a peripump, so I don't have to stay close to the spring at all times

Measuring the pH and temperature of the spring with tourists working by.

I got to do quite a bit of outreach!

Filtering the muddy waters. What a chore!

Seltun was by far the most acidic environment we sampled during our Iceland exploration. The acidity (pH) was regularly near 2, similar to freshly squeezed lemon juice, but that spring was not quite as appetizing.. 

A good day in the field! Our next stop is the spring with one of the highest discharges in the world. Stay tuned!

Views: 792

Comment

You need to be a member of SAGANet to add comments!

Join SAGANet

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Blog Posts

¿Are the Venusian sulphuric acid clouds the by product of long dead anoxogenic photosynthetic organisms?

Posted by Andrew Planet on May 4, 2020 at 2:51pm 2 Comments

I just read the piece at the link below entitled "Study: Life might survive, and thrive, in a hydrogen world."

I'd been thinking on similar lines recently, on different atmospheres with early life, but I was considering anoxogenic bacteria whose byproduct is sulfur instead of molecular oxygen. ¿Had life evolved on Venus could its sulfuric clouds be the signature byproduct of such life with no branches ever evolving to produce the equivalent of Earth's Great…

Continue

100 years tomorrow 26th April 2020 since we looked beyond the Milky Way Galaxy

Posted by Andrew Planet on April 25, 2020 at 11:10am 0 Comments

Exactly 100 years ago tomorrow, the subject on whether this Universe is larger than the Milky Way Galaxy was brought up publicly at an event sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, known as The Great Debate. Until then the Milky Way was thought to be this Universe.  Conference at the NAS http://www.nasonline.org/about-nas/events/annual-meeting/nas157/

See this…

Continue

The 5th Mexican School of Astrobiology

Posted by Tardigrelda on June 24, 2019 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

I am really glad to invite everyone to the next Mexican School of Astrobiology (aka EMA) which is this August.

¡Anímate a participar en la 5ta Escuela Mexicana de…

Continue

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabli…

Posted by Wolf D. Geppert on February 24, 2019 at 1:33am 0 Comments

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabling Europe to emerge as a key player in Astrobiology and to…

Continue

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Forum

Ask your questions here!

Started by Gina Riggio in SAGANet Discussions. Last reply by JohnCDraper May 19. 117 Replies

If you are trying to ask a question live during Ask an Astrobiologist, please do so in the main chatroom at the bottom of the screen! You can also ask on twitter…Continue

Have we been looking in the wrong time-frame? Requesting feedback on a recent paper.

Started by Christopher J Reiss in The Cutting-Edge of Astrobiology Apr 3. 0 Replies

Let me first say Hi to everyone as a new member here!   I hope you are all safe, sound, and not too stir-crazy during this Pandemic.I recently stumbled upon a notion for SETI which seems so simple I…Continue

Interactive Online Astrobiology for 10-12 yr olds

Started by Julia Brodsky in Education and Public Outreach Mar 9. 0 Replies

If your 10-12 yr old child is interested in space science, I would like to invite them to our courses. I am a former science teacher,  mom of three, and a former NASA astronaut instructor. I also…Continue

Tags: school, education, middle, astrobiology, STEM

zahra cell

Started by adam nurjaman in Education and Public Outreach Mar 7. 0 Replies

Hallo apa kabar ? semoga selalu baik2 saja zahra cell adalah blog yang…Continue

Tags: cell, zahra

© 2020   Blue Marble Space, a non-profit organization committed to science and science outreach.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service