Posts Tagged "iceland"

Photo Friday: Iceland through Instagram

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in All Posts, Experiences, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Iceland through Instagram

Spread the News:ShareThis week, Fulbright scholar and researcher M Jackson shares a glimpse of her work and travel in Höfn, Iceland, which she deems “cryosphere paradise,” as captured through Instagram. Iceland Icelandic glaciers Iceland Hoffellsjökull's flood plain, which has recently experienced high volumes of rain. Iceland All the water coming off Hoffellsjökull discharges onto this large sandur, which also happens to be traversed by the country's only highway. All the water is shunted under what is known locally as "the bouncy bridge." Iceland Icelandic ice and glaciers Iceland An aerial view of Icelandic town of Höfn (noted in red, population 2,000), which perches at the tip of a 40 sq km lagoon. In this lagoon, the North Atlantic ocean and the Vatnajökull ice cap converse in sediment loads and brackish waters. Iceland An Icelandic glaciated valley M Jackson is a U.S. Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oregon. She’s currently based in Höfn, Iceland, through a U.S. Fulbright-National Science Foundation Arctic Research Grant, where she’s researching glacier/society relationships.  The images here are all within an hour’s drive of Jackson’s home in Artbjarg, Höfn, and show the outlet glaciers pouring from the largest ice cap in Europe, Vatnajökull. Jackson will spend the winter exploring these glaciers and getting to know the Icelandic people who live near their peripheries. Many thanks to M Jackson for sharing her photos with us. You can follow her on Instagram at @mlejackson. This is her second appearance in GlacierHub, following an an earlier post on her previous research. Spread the...

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Super-Jeeping: Immersive Learning or Disturbing Nature?

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in All Posts, Communities, Experiences, Featured Posts, News, Tourism | 0 comments

Super-Jeeping: Immersive Learning or Disturbing Nature?

Spread the News:ShareIcelandic glaciers and volcanic landscapes have long been considered important ecotourism and educational locales. As these landscapes change dramatically with the melting of glaciers, seeing what is left of the glaciers becomes increasingly urgent. I experienced a super jeep adventure in South Iceland during a spring break study program in March 2014. This activity was offered as part of the program for experiential learning in the field of energy and sustainability and I was able to see nature and be a part of it by visiting some of the retreating glaciers and experiencing the region around the active volcano of Eyjafjallajökull.  It can be difficult to explore the large, majestic glaciers, but “super jeeps,” specially adapted cars, allow tourists to explore the scenery. These super jeeps are not regular jeeps, but rather ones with strong traction for driving on the many different glacial terrains. They are tall and wide with thick tires, and can seat about seven to eight people. This experience, in addition to being educational, is thrilling, adventurous and enjoyable. A number of companies in the country, such as Icelandic Mountain Guides, Discover Iceland and Glacier Jeeps, offer super jeep tours as part of day and night packages. These companies use ecotourism to attract more tourists and strive to maintain Iceland’s pristine landscapes. Crossing glacier rivers, reaching sites for northern lights viewing,  driving along the coasts of the black sand beaches and traversing rugged terrain of volcanoes such as Eyjafjallajökull are made convenient and exciting through these tours. A study on auto-mobility in Iceland suggests that Iceland’s jeep culture has been around for a very long time. The first automobiles arrived in Iceland in the early years of the twentieth century, but there were virtually no jeeps or other four-wheel drive vehicles until the British and American military occupation of Iceland during World War II. Jeep ownership in the years after the war was limited largely to farmers and a few urban hobbyists, who used them as a means of transport around the island’s rough terrain.  In the 1980s, some technological changes led to the rise of the superjeep. The extra-wide tires, inflated only to a low pressure, were initially used for agricultural purposes such as spreading manure, but proved to work well for driving on snow. Imports of jeeps and specialized tires increased in the late 1980s and even more in the 1990s.  In order to reach the toughest, most challenging regions within their country they included modern technologies such as GPS, ultra-wide tires and electronics converting regular jeeps into super jeeps.   This 15 sec video shows how glacier river crossing is done in a super jeep http://glacierhub.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Glacier-river-crossing.mp4   It was the most exciting adventure sport for me, as an environmental science student. But it is not always considered the most environmentally friendly sport. Most super jeeps are fuelled by imported petroleum or regular diesel – fossil fuels which contribute to the cause of melting glaciers. Experts from the adventure and travel agency South Iceland Adventure, founded in 2010, say the fuel efficiency with “regular diesel fuel is about 20-30L/100Km,” or about 9.5 miles per gallon. Diesel combustion produces black carbon, which is a highly polluting form of particulate matter. Black carbon darkens the surface of glaciers and sea ice when it settles on them, leading to greater absorption of heat and more rapid melting. A study by Yale University researchers found that jeepneys – modified jeeps which are similar to super jeeps — in the Philippines release these black carbon emissions into the atmosphere. One company, the Mountain Taxi, says its jeeps cause minimal to no environmental impact. The company’s website states,...

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Photo Friday: Iceland’s Black Sand Beaches

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: Iceland’s Black Sand Beaches

Spread the News:ShareWhen a volcano erupts from underneath a glacier, pulses of meltwater deposit materials in outwash plains. The 1918 subglacial Katla volcano eruption in southern Iceland formed the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain. This plain, which covers hundreds of square kilometers, includes a number of striking  black sand beaches, including a particularly well-known one in the town of Vík í Mýrdal. Here is a selection of photos of Iceland’s black sand beaches with large ice fragments and sand dunes,  set against the backdrop of glacial ice caps. Photos are courtesy of Neha Ganesh and Flickr users James West, Ade Russell and Oliver Rich. For more information about Iceland’s volcanoes and glaciers, look here and here.   Black Sand Beach, Iceland Image Courtesy: Neha Ganesh Black Sand Dunes, Iceland Image Courtesy: Neha Ganesh Black Sand Beach, Iceland Image Courtesy: Neha Ganesh Black Sand Beach in Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland Image Courtesy: Neha Ganesh   Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com.    Spread the...

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Round-Up: Melt Music, An Artist’s View, and Eruptions

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, News, Roundup | 0 comments

Round-Up: Melt Music, An Artist’s View, and Eruptions

Spread the News:Share Salvatore Vitale’s Glacier Art  “This is the beginning of a project that aims to explore the powerful nature of a living creature in constant evolution. I want to show how such a powerful creature can be so fragile. In those pictures you can see their magnificence, but at the same time all their fragility.” See the images at Salvatore Vitale’s website   Glacial Melt Sounds Pave the Way for New Research “Researchers in Poland and the UK used underwater microphones to record the sound of ice calving away from a glacier in Norway.” Have a listen with BBC News   Study Finds Increased Volcanic Activity Due to Changes in Glaciers   “Melting ice is causing the land to rise up in Iceland – and perhaps elsewhere. The result, judging by new findings on the floor of the Southern Ocean, could be a dramatic surge in volcanic eruptions.” Read more at New Scientist   Spread the...

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An Icy Art Installation Clear As Crystal

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts | 0 comments

An Icy Art Installation Clear As Crystal

Spread the News:Share“Thinning Ice”, an installation commissioned by Swarovski for its ninth year at Design Miami (December 3 – 7, 2014), links melting glaciers and climate change through a three-dimensional experience. Architect Jeanne Gang collaborated with James Balog, a National Geographic filmmaker/photographer, to create the installation, which includes a kind of glacier sculpture and a series of photographs, as well as video. The installation was inspired by Balog’s photographs of the shrinking Stubai Glacier in the Austrian Alps, where Swarovski is headquartered, over a three-year period. The Stubai photographs are part of Balog’s ongoing “Extreme Ice Survey,” an innovative, long-term photography project founded in 2007. The project consists of 28 cameras at 13 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalayas, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the United States, which have been recording the rapidly depleting glaciers every thirty minutes over the past several years. In an effort to bring Balog’s photographs to life, Gang displayed a fluid-formed luminous block, which represents a melting glacier, in the center of the room. This structure, which resembles a kind of table, is pocked with asymmetric holes embedded with a diverse selection of Swarovski crystals, from unprocessed fragments and shards to finely finished pieces. The holes are meant to resemble cryoconite holes, tiny perforations found on glaciers that are created by wind-blown dust made of rock particles, soot and microbes. Glacial Environment for Swarovski: At the Design Miami 2014, American artist Jeanne Gang des… http://t.co/9bo5gL3v9p #Mysecretshowroom — My Secret Showroom (@Secret_showroom) December 14, 2014 The installation’s floor is set with curving illuminated cracks, also filled with small bits of Swarovski crystal, which resemble the crevasses one might find in a receding glacier. Gang finished the installation room with an 11.5-foot tall and a 70-foot long media wall, which presented a running slideshow of epic photographs and video footage of the world’s glaciers.   “‘Thinning Ice’ is a work which captures the haunting beauty of the Earth’s threatened glaciers in a powerful, almost elegiac way,” said Nadja Swarovski, a member of the Swarovski Executive Board, in a statement. The immersive nature of the work is meant to inspire visitors to contemplate the implications of and solutions to the melting of the world’s glaciers. Swarovski chose to showcase glaciers in Florida to highlight its commitment to sustainability. For 14 years, the company has funded its Swarovski Waterschool Program, which educates children around the world in the principles of sustainable water management. Swarovski also sources materials from suppliers that comply with the United Nations Global Compact’s human rights and environmental standards. GlacierHub has posted other stories recently about artists from the United States, Italy, and Peru whose work centers on glaciers. Spread the...

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