Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island’s conversion to Christianity, new research suggests.
An international group of researchers has dated a large volcanic eruption in Iceland to within a few months. The eruption, which is the oldest volcanic eruption to be precisely dated at high northern latitudes, occurred shortly before the first permanent human settlements were established, when parts of the now mostly treeless island were still covered with forest.
In 2014, Cambridge researchers monitored a series of seismic shocks which preceded Iceland’s biggest volcanic eruption in 200 years. The dramatic story of their work, and its scientific value, is now part of this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
Rebecca Merkelbach (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) discusses the monstrous heroes of Scandinavian mythology and literature.
A team of researchers from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences have recently returned from Iceland where, thanks to a bit of luck, they have gathered the most extensive dataset ever from a volcanic eruption, which will likely yield considerable new insights into how molten rock moves underground, and whether or not it erupts.
Cambridge scientists and PhD students are at the forefront of monitoring the activity of the Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland. The research group, led by Professor Bob White of the Department of Earth Sciences, is monitoring the ongoing massive volcanic intrusion through its array of seismic instrumentation - never before has such an intrusion been so well documented. The data they gather is likely to yield considerable new insights into how molten rock moves underground, and whether or not it erupts. Here, Professor White outlines the team’s ongoing work in Iceland.
Imagine the perfect storm. A series of severe volcanic eruptions engulf the globe, spewing ash and sulphur into the atmosphere, causing widespread chaos on our intricate global economy, impacting our ability to grow food and grounding trans-continental air travel.
Now mid-way through a year-long 21st-century pilgrimage to the settings of Iceland’s famous medieval Íslendingasögur (‘sagas of Icelanders’), Dr Emily Lethbridge has crisscrossed the country in her ex-MOD Land Rover ambulance on the trail of outlaws, shapeshifters, mound-dwelling viking-zombies, and ordinary men and women who lived in Iceland a thousand years ago.
Six months after she set forth on an epic tour of Iceland in a Land Rover ambulance on the trail of the country’s medieval sagas, Dr. Emily Lethbridge will be giving a free, public lecture in Cambridge this week to update her followers on the story of her project so far.