Yellow alert for extreme weather – April visit at Sudurnes and Reykjanes Geopark, Iceland

Figure of yellow alert for weather in Iceland by the Icelandic Met Office.
It is now the third storm in a row, told my EU-Interact-BLACK project host Hanna María Kristjánsdóttir, Director of the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center (SSLC) in Iceland.
Sudurnes Science and Learning Center director Hanna María Kristjánsdóttir.
But this is unusual April weather. Today we have yellow alert for extreme weather in many (most) parts of Iceland. People are adviced to stay indoors.
In addition to the national weather forecast at https://en.vedur.is it is wise to check info for safe travel at https://safetravel.is/ and road conditions and weather at http://www.road.is.

Sandgerdi pond at the Reykjanes peninsula

Photo. Sangerdi pond life as presented in the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center exhibition.

Before the storm started I sampled two nearby ponds. There are several ponds in the northern coastline of the Reykjanes peninsula. They are due to ground water river and its springs, i.e., water bursting to the surface from below ground. As they originate from ground water source, they can provide some information on BC in groundwater, too. Of course the water contains deposited BC, too. Due to the hard winds during the recent storms we can assume the water to be well mixed at the time of sampling.

Sea water and drinking water at Sudurnes

The Sudurnes SSLC (location: blue circle in the map above) is located in the coast of the Reykjanes peninsula.

SSLC provided me with sea water and drinking water samples, too. For drinking water, I really do not expect any BC to be found. Actually I have previously analyzed Reykjavik drinking water and it had no BC. The tab water here in Iceland tastes so good, too. For sea water we shall see! It is an open question. You will find that information later here, after the samples have been analyzed in the laboratory, in Finland.

Hence, despite the storm, I could sample and filter a lot of various types of water samples!

One of the scientists at SSLC, Joana Micael, told that she has studied Ciona intestinalis (also known as vase tunicate) as an invasive species capable to grow in the harsh Icelandic climate conditions. Amazingly tough! Unfortunately they are harmful to Iceland’s ecology.

Reykjanes geopark

Reykjanes Peninsula is an UNESCO Global Geopark. It is said that there the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, but I have not seen that place, at least not yet. If the weather permits, lake water and hot spring samples would be the next goal. More information about the Geopark is here: http://www.reykjanesgeopark.is/en

The aim was to sample snow and water in February during cold season and water in April after snow melt season to study their Black Carbon contents. If we find BC in our winter samples of snow, we are interested in knowing where BC can be detected after snow melt.

Photos: Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland

February under the blue sky of Iceland – Field report from the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center

Snow covers the Solheimajökull glacier and -surprise- its frozen melt lake, February 2019. Last time I saw the lake in winter time, it was not frozen. Surface snow and ice samples, as well as natural water samples, collected in the field in Iceland, will be filtered at the laboratory of the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center.

Today I arrived to the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center at the Reykjanes Peninsula, for the EU-Interact-BLACK -project. The director of the Center, Hanna María Kristjánsdóttir, was right welcoming me and showing around the great lab facilities. This was super, especially as I already had snow and ice samples with me when arriving and needed a place for them, to melt and filter them in the Center’s lab (photos below).

Surface snow and ice sampled have found their way to the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center laboratory! Next they are to be fully melted and thereafter filtered for the chemical analysis.

The chemical analysis I will make with the OC/EC thermo-optical analyzer of the Finnish Meteorological Institute back in Finland. Hence, my samples from Iceland to Finland will be easy-to-carry along filter-samples.

The sampling itself would require more space to tell, so I will continue more about it in my next post. Here below still some photos for you to get a better idea of the Sudurnes Center. I absolutely love the inside and outside of the house and its surroundibgs, even though it is now winter time and cold and quite windy. In summer it will be open for visitors, too.

The Sudurnes Science and Learning Center is a scientific research facility in the Sudurnes region.

This lighthouse is close to the Sudurnes Learning and Science Center.

Photos: Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute

Extremes of Iceland – Preparing for field work in February by burning filters at 800 degrees Celsius

Photo: The filtration system ready for laboratory work at the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center, Iceland, after field sampling.

It is just amazing how much preparations are needed right before the field work can take place! Iceland will be the first place for us to start this winter-season’s field work. But, we did start a new measurement setup for BC deposition in snow here in Helsinki Kumpula this week, too, at the SMEARIII station, https://www.atm.helsinki.fi/SMEAR/index.php/smear-iii, and it was by a fortunate co-incidence that I started talking with my colleaque Mika Vestenius in the lunch table and thanks to him here we are!

This week, one week before going to field and working on the  impurities on snow and water, preparing for field work means pre-burning sample filters, collecting together all the laboratory stuff needed, and planning more detailed about the sampling and the program during the visit… and there will be a lot of going on during the visit, but about that you can read more later in my separate BLACK-blog’s posting on Iceland visit.

So, this week I have pre-burned filters at 800 degrees Celsius for 4 hours! From that, I took an image to show you what it means in practice. Here you go:

Photo: The filters are preburned in an oven at temperature of 800 degrees Celsius for 4 hours at a time.

In addition, here in Finland many Finns have been occupied with snow and ice although not related to field work preparations. We really have a lot of snow in the capital area of Helsinki this year! And many of us have enjoyed skiing, and clearing snow, too… but now back to sampling…

Why do we need filters in the field work?

Filters are needed after the snow or water sample has been collected and snow melted, the water sample is filtered using a filtration system. The filters  look like this:

Photo: These are the pre-burned filters, one with a sample filtered through and the other, white ones, waiting the action to start in Iceland.

How to prepare to Iceland in February?

My Icelandic host Hanna María Kristjánsdóttir,Director of  the Sudurnes Science and Learning Center, Iceland, has warmly welcomed me and confirmed the stay. Many thanks! Can not wait to meet you all there in Iceland!

In Iceland, the winter weather can be very windy and snowy, depending on the location you are. And it can even happen in Reykjavik, as it was the case on 26 Feb. 2017.

About the new record of 51 cm of snow in Reykjavik on 26 Febr 2017

It really was a fortunate co-incident in 2017, that I was part of an international snow measurement campaign (planned way in advance!) in Reykjavik at the time of this record event. The new February snow depth record measured for Reyjavik was 51 cm. This caused a lot of trouble for the traffic. For us it meant that we had excellent conditions for our international comparison of snow depth and snow water equivalent measurement devices. We were researchers from 10 European countries and USA.

Unexpected wintertime packing list includes a swimming suit for Iceland in February

Nevertheless, after the snowy and windy winter-time field work you will have use for a bathing suit to visit an outdoor hot spring or a swimming pool! An amazing thing to do on a winter day, and possible also in February! It is a must at least once during one winter time snowy field work period!

Photos: Outi Meinander, Finnish Meteorological Institute.

 

About us #2: our Finnish-Icelandic-Czech-Swedish personal BIO (BLACK-project)

About us #2 will tell you more about us four, it will be about our personal bio (while About us #1 was the bio of the Black blog).

Summer is here!

Our Finnish-Icelandic-Czech-Swedish BLACK team is very much looking forward to the season 2018-2019 field work in Faroes, Iceland, and Scotland!  Let us introduce you our team, i.e., Outi, Pavla, Laura and Jonas. We all have previous Arctic and cold climate field work experience, and we were briefly introduced in “About Interact Bloggers” .

MEET THE BLACK TEAM

We are the 4 members of the BLACK project, EU-Interact H2020.  Also we  are:

  • NCoE CRAICC Fellows (Outi, Pavla and Jonas),
  • members of FMI Climate Research Programme (Outi, Laura and Jonas)
  • members of FMI Antarctic Ozone and UV research (Laura and Outi),
  • organizers of the EGU-2018 session on “Atmosphere – Cryosphere interaction with focus on transport, deposition and effects of dust, black carbon, and other aerosols” (Pavla and Outi),
  • members of FMI Aerosols in snow WG (Jonas and Outi),
  • members of EU COST Action in Dust (focus on middle and low latitudes dust, e.g., including Saharan dust) and EU COST Action on SNOW (Action coordinated by FMI Finland) (Pavla and Outi),
  • and much more.

OUR PERSONAL BIO (Outi, Pavla, Laura and Jonas)

OUTI MEINANDER, PhD, blogging from Stations FINI Faroes, SUDURNES Iceland, and ECN CAIRNGORM Scotland UK:

The capital city of Finland, Helsinki, is where I was born, and where I graduated from high school, and from the University, too. But now I live in Espoo, in one of the southern main districts of the city of Espoo, close to the Aalto University, and I work at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Climate Research Programme, Atmospheric Composition Research Unit, Atmospheric Aerosols Group, Aerosols in snow WG, in Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki, Finland

My previous cool (cold) field work includes Finland and Arctic, in Sodankylä (beyond the Arctic Circle) and in Iceland, and at high altitudes in Sonnblickbasis, Austria, and I have also instrumentation for many years at Marambio Base, Antarctica, as well as had onboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden. Atmospheric radiation and effects of black carbon and Icelandic dust on snow albedo and melt, is the field of science I have most recently specialized in. From the new places to visit, Faroe Islands and Scotland will be totally new experiences for me.

My closest connection to Scotland so far is our Shetland sheepdog (Shetland belongs to Scotland).

Our Shetland Sheep dog Minttu waiting for some action to start.

On the other hand, cold climate work at high altitudes and latitudes, has to get balance from some warmer climate action, like flamenco as a hobby! My other interests include, e.g., making mosaic, meaning decorative simple recycling art works from small pieces of broken ceramics and tiles, colored glass, seashells and stones, and other recycled materials, on old chairs, tables and smaller recycled items, and also on small rocks.  Reading is also one of my favorite pastimes (I have read all the Harry Potter books in Finnish, tried one in English but found it very demanding…), and also dog walking, nature and culture walks, as well as slow cycling, and different types of other sports, just for fun.

My favorite self-made mosaic table.

And now I wonder what Pavla, Laura, and Jonas want to tell about themselves… from this forward it will be their free word input (and I take absolutely no responsibility).

PAVLA DAGSSON-WALDHAUSEROVA,  PhD, aerosol scientist from the Agricultural University of Iceland, Reykjavik:

Black deserts of Iceland

Black are the deserts and beaches in Iceland and black is the volcanic ash emitted in recent eruptions in Iceland. Sometimes our glaciers and snow are also black because volcanic dust or ash are distributed over the surfaces. Indeed, Iceland is a perfect outside laboratory to study atmosphere-cryosphere interactions. My most favourite time is up there in the black desert or chasing dust plumes and dust devils with my aerosol instruments.

Our dog Skuggi participated the ADMI2013 campaign – Aerosol Dust Measurements in Iceland 2013,  the first ever aerosol measurements campaign on dust source in Iceland.  By the way – Skuggi means shadow in Icelandic.

Sometimes we send meteorological balloons with the instrument, sometimes we collect dirty snow, but it is mostly the cameras, which bravely monitor the desert surfaces for us. Iceland is not the only High Latitude Dust (HLD) source of my interest. Our instrument travelled also to Antarctic Peninsula to capture strong dust event from local materials as well as material transported from Patagonia. It is also excited to take trip and provide measurements from Svalbard and hopefully also other HLD sources.

I am originally from the Czech Republic where we love to swim in ponds, kayak, and cross-country ski, but Iceland has become my second home since 2008 and I like to try to do my Czech hobbies here as well.

Dust is blowing everywhere…

LAURA THÖLIX, PhD (Doctoral candidate in the beginning of BLACK) FMI Helsinki, Climate System Research, specialized in stratospheric modelling and ozone, which controls UV irradiance reaching the ground, and has experience of fieldwork in the Arctic Sodankylä and Utsjoki, Finland.

JONAS SVENSSON, PhD, FMI Helsinki, Aerosols in snow WG, experience in field and laboratory work on BC, in BLACK will contribute to filter analysis at the FMI Aerosol Laboratory Facility.

 

The BLACK team will be conducting fieldwork on and around the EU H2020 INTERACT stations of Faroe Islands Nature Investigation FINI, Iceland’s Sudurnes Science and Learning Center, and UK Environmental Change Network’s ECN Cairngorms, Scotland, in season 2018-2019. The BLACK blog url is https://arcticresearch.wordpress.com/category/blogs-from-the-field/black-snowy-stories-of-three-islands-black/

%d bloggers like this: