Day 3: Today we took a windy hike to Lake Grænavatn!
After our first productive day in the field, we’ve all been getting into the swing of things and becoming accustomed to our daily routine: wake up, eat a healthy breakfast of Skyr and fish paste from a tube (or not!), load up the vans with equipment, and hit the road. We returned to the lava fields and made our way to the base of a considerably steep ridge in hopes that we could reach Graenavatn on the other side. Despite the relentless wind, one couldn’t have hoped for a more beautiful day in Iceland. It really is breathtaking to see the clear, blue sky over the expanse of green moss and the remnants of lava flows that erupted thousands of years ago.
After a one-mile uphill hike, we arrived at the lake and had a quick lunch consisting of sandwiches, crackers and cheese spread, and chocolate-covered digestive biscuits (a group favorite). Unfortunately, the wind made it impossible to take the boat out and take water chemistry measurements, but thankfully we were still able to collect some water samples and dredge for zooplankton. After we examined the zooplankton under the microscope, we were excited to find a hydra, a type of predatory zooplankton with long tentacles. We named him Daniel!
After our time at the lake, we hiked back to the vans and drove to see some geothermal springs, where boiling sulphuric water bubbles to the earth’s surface. Their magnificence definitely made up for the smell! Think: rotten eggs.
Overall, it was another exciting day full of science and sightseeing. Can’t wait to see where we go next!