GEG 4100 Glaciology Field Research - Iceland or Norway

Optional Field courses - GEG4100

GEG 4100 Glaciology Field Research (3 units)

Set in Iceland or Norway this 10 day course will take you from the surface of snowy glaciers down to their icy interior and from their debris covered terminus to calving lakes and icebergs. The focus of this field course is the study of glaciers: their formation, processes, landforms and their response to climate change.

Dates: This course typically takes place in June but is offered on alternating years with GEG4000 and GEG4001. For more information contact

Students enrolled in a major or honours bachelor's degree must take GEG/ENV 2918 as well as one of our national or international course. Students in environmental studies must, for their part, take GEG/ENV2918 and ENV4910. All students may, if they wish, take several national or international courses.




Why here?

The course takes place in the most heavily glaciated regions of Europe: either the volcanically-based ice caps and glaciers of southern Iceland, or in and around the largest ice cap in mainland Europe in Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway. These landscapes contain a mixture of mountains, snowfields, valley glaciers, and an amazing variety of glacial landforms and landscapes


What will I do?

You will take trips to investigate the surface, interior and basal environments of glaciers, including digging snow pits in their accumulation area, hiking across their ablation area, visiting englacial and subglacial tunnels and channels, and visiting recently deglaciated regions. Where access allows, we will also take zodiacs or kayaks to visit the termini of calving glaciers. 


What will I learn?

You will learn how glaciers and ice caps flow and modify the landscape, the kinds of landforms that they create, and how these ice masses are changing in a warming climate. You will also learn how to interpretsnow samples, measure glaciers, take ice cores, and use remote sensing to determine glacier change.


Where will I stay?

Accommodation will typically be in rented houses, cabins or guesthouses near to glaciers. Food is often provided in guesthouses, but we will also be cooking our own meals when staying in remote locations. Camping isn’t usually necessary, although it will sometimes be useful to bring a sleeping bag when staying in mountain cabins.

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