Iceland 2003
Keck Junior Research Project
Geology of an Abandoned Oceanic Rift:
The Skagi Area, North-Central Iceland

Iceland 2003 Keck Project group: listed back to front in four rows and left to right
Back: Scott Pelletier (Pomona) and Rick Hazlett (Pomona)
3rd row: Marian Kramer (Smith), Deanne Rider (Wooster), John Winter (Whitman)
2nd row: Amanda Bissell (Colorado College), Ashley Meganck (Whitman), Katie Ackerly (Williams),
Neth Walker (Washington and Lee), Brennan Jordan (Whitman/Wooster)
Front: Dave Auerbach (Carleton) and Paige McClanahan (Williams)

Director: Brennan Jordan (The College of Wooster/Whitman College)
Other Faculty: Rick Hazlett (Pomona College) & John Winter (Whitman College)

Nine students representing the twelve school Keck Consortium joined the faculty on a month-long research expedition in north-central Iceland.  The study is being conducted in and around the Skagi Peninsula (Keck Project Page).  The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is exposed above sea level at Iceland (Fig. 1) due to the interaction of the ridge with a hotspot (generally interpreted as a mantle plume).  Plate motion causes the ridge to migrate westward off of the hotspot.  The ridge periodically ‘jumps’ to recenter on the hotspot, abandoning the old ridge (Fig. 2).  The last ridge-segment to be abandoned goes through the Skagi area and Snæfellsness Peninsula; it was abandoned around 7 Ma.  Anomalously, a period of magmatic rejuvenation occurred in the Skagi area between 2.5 and 0.5 Ma.  The geology of the Skagi area includes rhyolitic volcanic centers in addition to the basalts (Fig. 3).  Rhyolites are more common in Iceland than most people appreciate, constituting ~15% of exposed igneous rocks.  We are studying the basalt stratigraphy, the younger phase of basaltic volcanism, rhyolitic eruptive centers, silicic intrusive complexes, and regional structure.  Field work will be supplemented by petrography, geochemistry, and Ar/Ar-geochronology.

Post-project summary (pdf)

Photo Galleries:
Project Gallery 1: Scenic, geologic, working, and fun photos from the project
Project Gallery 2: Pictures from the pre-project field trip
Additional 2003 Iceland photos from Brennan Jordan
Brennan Jordan's 2000 Iceland photo gallery