Summer School on Volcano-Ice Interaction (2009)

Nordic Volcanological Center, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland
IAVCEI-IACS Commission on Volcano-Ice Interactions

Laugarvatn, Iceland, 30 June - 9 July 2009



- To study in depth a specific topic within the broad field of volcanology by bringing together research students and world experts within the field under study.
- To give PhD and other graduate students from the Nordic Countries and elsewhere a change to interact and form contacts with experts and other graduate students.

Ice-covered volcanoes are found in many parts of the world and during glaciations a large number of the world's volcanoes had extensive ice cover. It has been suggested that a global ice cover existed about 600 Ma ago indicating that volcano-ice interaction may have been the dominant style of volcanism on land. Volcanism in the Polar Regions very often involves interaction with ice and negative impacts on the stability of ice sheets have been proposed. The interaction of magma and ice is therefore important in many areas and plays a significant role in the geological record and on the planet Mars. Awareness of the hazard caused by eruptions interacting with ice is also crucial as they often cause lahars and jökulhlaups, threatening inhabited areas. The summer school is aimed at responding to the needs of this expanding sub-discipline in volcanology and glaciology. It includes a combination of lectures from leading scientists, presentations from participants, field studies and observations. A strong field component will be an integral part of this summer school.

Topics vary from one year to another. The summer school for 2009 is dedicated to volcano-ice interaction. Topic to be covered are:
    • Physics of volcano-ice interaction
    • Lithofacies of subglacial basalts and rhyolites
    • Landforms of volcano-ice interaction
    • Glacier response to volcanic eruptions
    • Physical volcanology of volcano-ice interaction
    • Applications of geochemical and isotopic techniques to subglacial eruption environments
    • Subglacial hydrology, jökulhlaups and lahars
    • Volcano-ice interaction hazards
    • Volcano-ice interaction on Mars and other planetary bodies
    • Volcano-ice interaction in the geological record as a paleoclimate proxy
    • Volcano-ice-climate interaction

The venue at Laugarvatn in south Iceland is an ideal place for a summer school of this kind. It is located at the eastern margin of the complex of basaltic hyaloclastite mountains in the Western Volcanic Zone where Guðmundur Kjartansson in the 1940s and J.G. Jones in the 1960s did their pioneering studies of tuyas and tindars. The summer school is dedicated to the memory of Guðmundur Kjartansson, who was born 100 years ago in 1909 and died in 1972. Many type localities can be easily reached in afternoon trips from Laugarvatn. The last two days will be dedicated to a field excursion through the Eastern Volcanic Zone with its subglacially-formed rhyolitic rocks, basaltic hyaloclastite ridge landscape and the deposits of the spectacular jökulhlaups from the subglacial Katla volcano.


Deadline for registration is March 5, 2009. The registration fee is 400 Euros (non refundable), which covers tuition, course materials and transport during fieldtrips. Cost of bus travel and full accommodation at Laugarvatn (Hotel Edda ML Laugarvatn) and Landmannalaugar is 900 Euros. The number of places is limited and a part is already reserved for students from the Nordic countries which support the summer school through a Norforsk grant and contributions from the Nordic Volcanological Center at UoI.  There is a maximum of 30 students in the course.
Organisation: A 10 day session, usually at a locality in Iceland outside Reykjavík, involving lecturing, field excursions and excercises, poster presentations by participants and discussion sessions on the topics to be covered. Course assessment will be based on the presentations and discussions.

Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson, Nordvulk, University of Iceland
Ármann Höskuldsson, Nordvulk, University of Iceland
Dave McGarvie, The Open University, UK
Sarah Fagents, University of Hawaii, USA

Contact persons in the Nordic countries:
Christian Tegner, University of Aarhus (
Kari Strand, University of Oulu (
Reidar Tronnes, University of Oslo (
Rodney Allen, Lulea University (

For further information contact Ármann Höskuldsson ( or Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson ( 

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