Krafla volcano - 23-6-13 sunday exibition and lesson on top of the vulcano

by Lukas Pfitzenmaier

Teaching is also part of scientific work. So I was very happy that I got the opportunity to participate in a fieldwork experiment in Iceland within the framework of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing master track of our department. At first, all the work required to prepare the fieldwork appeared quite straightforward, and times to do it was supposed largely enough. Igor, another PhD student of our group was also involved and Yann my supervisor here gave us as much as support as he could give (Thanks Yann). In the end, I should notice that this was a bit naive. I just had no imagination how many e-mails had to be written, how long it would take to organize all the instruments, cables, and boxes to ship them. At how many meetings you have to participate... and how often you have to explain your plans again and again...

Finally, I was very happy sitting on the plane to Iceland (The first time in the first class because Igor and I got an upgrade). After landing in Kaflavik international airport we had a few hours time to have a walk trough Reykjavik. In the evening we had another flight to Akureyri and from there another one and half hour ride to Reykiahild at Lake Myvatn. After mounting all the instruments the whole Saturday we welcomed the rest of the staff and all the students in the evening. On Sunday we had a trip on the Krafla volcano. So the students had a first reconnaissance of the area. The area was picked to measure deformation with GPS, gravimeter, leveling, and other methods. Students were also involved in placing two times four weather stations to study atmospheric variability within a small area. A second part of the atmospheric measurement activity was to measure and estimate cloud base height. For this activity we asked colleagues from the Iceland Met Office for help. They provided us a radio-sonde launch and showed us their mobile SELEX X-band radar. All in all was a very interesting and fascinating meeting with them.

After a few days in the field, we encountered our first issues with the measurement setup related to theWeather stations - 24-6-13 monday weather stations ready for measuring in the field weather stations. We realized that we forgot to order enough data-loggers (a very small device which is plugged to the weather sensor in order to store the data). So we spent the whole next day on Skype and phone calls to Netherlands and Iceland and writing emails to get them ordered and urgently shipped to our place in Iceland. And - believe it or not - the data loggers arrived on Friday evening. Still enough time for the students to collect some data before Igor and I leave on Monday morning. In the end we managed to run all the weather stations with the data loggers and had a first look to some first results.

Now I am back from Iceland and think about the experiences I made. I learned a lot about planning field trips and/or experiments as well as handling students and about fixing problems. It was an intensive time with a lot of ups and downs but I would like to go next year again to see if I improved my skills. But now first my research project has to go on...

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