The Iceland Adventure 2001
Day 3: Saturday October 6, 2001
Rain, Temperature 10c
All of us were excited to be at the Westman
Islands. We had two days planned which included a climb up the famous Eldfell
volcano for some scientific thermal readings and to collect some volcanic samples
such as volcanic bombs. We also wanted to visit the World
famous Keiko, the orca whale star of 'Free Willy'.The group was also invited to spend the evening with Icelandic friends for
story telling and mysterious Iceland food. And if that was not enough, shopping.
Our first stop before hiking up the Eldfell
volcano was a stop at Keiko the whale’s enclosure. Located at the harbors
entrance, Keiko has been isolated from people to rid himself from human
dependants. No people are allowed close to Keiko so we had to take the following
video from across the harbor about 150 meters away. Video
Clip: Please allow 2 minutes for loading.
The next adventure was the hike to the
Eldfell volcano. It is approximately a 2-kilometer walk from the hotel.
At times the ascent was challenging. When we reached the summit, students
and staff were excited and interested in the high thermal readings at the top.
These readings were used to develop a geology exercise. It seemed that all the
participants wanted a keepsake of their experience and everyone was looking for
the perfect volcanic bomb. Please refer to the exercise, Could
Eldfell Erupt Soon?, for more video and measurements.
The historical significance of Eldfell
unfolded in 1973, when the residents of the small fishing community were
threatened by a sudden volcanic eruption as tons of ash poured down and molten
material moved toward the town and harbor of Heimaey. Please see more detailed
account of this eruption on the Eldfell volcano page.
When the group finished their readings, the
group decided to climb the 5000 year old sister volcano, Helgafell, for photos
and samples which was located 200 meters beside Eldfell.
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