Subsidence in rift zones, Vogar Peninsula and Thingvellir, Iceland: Precision levelling of far-field effects of a recently active volcanic area

The spreading mid-Atlantic margin interacts with the Icelandic plume to form a complex fault array across Iceland. The transcurrent fault – defined as “leaky” – dissects the southwestern part of Iceland at an oblique angle. The continued stretching of the crust along the margin leads to thinning and subsidence towards the rift. Meanwhile work from 2004 showed that the area both subsides towards the rift, but also that minor individual fault segments along the profile undergo small-scale movement.

The student will conduct fieldwork in Iceland in order to perform precision levelling along 2 profiles, the Vogar Peninsula (2 km long, anticipated 2 full days of work) and the Thingvellir profile (ca 3 km – 3 days of work).

The results will be compared with original data from the 60’s and 70’s, and for the Vogar Profile the data from 2004, in order to ascertain the exact displacement along both profiles over up to 50 years. The results from the Vogar profile are of particular importance given the recent nearby eruption in Fagradalsfjall on the Vogar Peninsula. Results from this profile can be discussed in terms of the effects of the dyke intrusion, earthquake swarms and the eruption itself.

Simple geophysical modelling of the movement will determine how the movement fits into predicted crustal movements.

Project learnings:

  • Fieldwork-precision levelling
  • Data compilation, assessment and interpretation
  • Simple geophysical modelling
  • Academic writing and presenting
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Published Aug. 31, 2022 9:39 AM - Last modified Aug. 31, 2022 9:39 AM