On this field trip you will travel to Iceland, land of volcanoes and get up close to a magma drilling project. Did you know a possible solution to global energy problems is to drill directly into magma chambers? Think about how this could be done without starting an eruption that might kill people.

Like New Zealand, Iceland sits astride a tectonic plate boundary and experiences lots of earthquakes. However, Iceland is also over a volcanic hot spot so it has many more volcanoes and volcanic eruptions than New Zealand. Because of its volcanism, Iceland has huge potential for generating electricity from its geothermal energy reserves.

During this field trip you will get up close to Iceland's biggest volcanoes and the many weird volcanic features on its landscape. You will also visit the Krafla magma drilling project which is part of a plan to generate geothermal power and also reduce volcanic hazards in the surrounding area. 

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • natural hazards - earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and landslides
  • the tectonic plates of New Zealand and Iceland
  • the natural hazards of New Zealand and Iceland
  • volcanic eruptions - magma, ash, lava flows
  • the Krafla magma drilling project
  • geothermal power
  • preparing for natural hazards
  • responses to natural hazards
  • reducing volcanic hazards.

During this field trip you will:

  • see Shelley's tweets on twitter
  • meet scientists from Iceland, UK and New Zealand
  • fly to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland
  • go to Akureyri and explore its volcanic landscape
  • explore the volcanic field at Krafla
  • compare Krafla with New Zealand's volcanic plateau
  • get up close to the magma drilling project at Krafla
  • take a ferry ride to Heimaey and climb Eldfell
  • find out more about lava flows as a hazard
  • look out over old lava flows and see where it is safe to build
  • go to Eyjafjallajökull, a caldera covered in ice
  • learn about Iceland's 2010 volcanic eruption and look for its signs on the landscape
  • find out more about volcanic ash as a hazard
  • work out what Iceland's lessons are for New Zealand.

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • work out which natural hazard is the greatest risk to you where you live, and what the impacts would be
  • make your home more resilient to natural hazards
  • find out the location of your nearest active volcano
  • find out about the latest eruption of your nearest active volcano
  • assess your own risk from an eruption of your nearest volcano
  • find out more about interesting careers in earth science and natural hazards
  • find out how much power your electricity company gets from renewable sources like hydro, wind and geothermal.

Learning Areas/Levels

Health and Physical Education: Personal Health and Physical Development Levels 1-5, Healthy Communities and Environments Levels 1-5
Science: Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 1-3
Social Studies: Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 1-5, Place and Environment Levels 1-5, Continuity and Change Levels 1-5

For further information: http://rata.learnz.org.nz/summary.php?vft=naturalhazards183 

Find out more

Check out our introductory article on Volcanoes or alternatively see our volcanoes topic. 

We also have a volcano planning pathway comprising of an article and interactive that provide pedagogical advice and organises Hub resources into key science concepts and topics.


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