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(was 2700-1703)

Nordic Volcanological Center, Institute of Earth Sciences
Geoscience Building
University of Iceland
Grensásvegur 50,
108 Reykjavík,

Telephone :
(354) 525 4492
(direct telephones listed below)
Telefax : (354) 562 9767
Telex : (501)2307 ISINFO
Senior researcher: Morten Schioldan Riishuus
Email :
Website :

Scientific staff :

Morten Schioldan Riishuus - Senior Researcher - Volcanology (525 4489)
Dr. Freysteinn Sigmundsson - Director - Geophysics (525 4491) 
Rikke Pedersen - Centre Manager (525 5483)
Dr. Karl Grönvold - Volcanology, Petrology ( 525 4493)

Níels Óskarsson - Volcanology, Geochemistry (525 4480)
Dr. Reidar Trønnes - Petrology, Geochemistry (525 4496)
Dr. Þóra Árnadóttir - Geophysics (525 4488)
Guðrún Sverrisdóttir - Geologist, Geochemistry (525 4486)
Halldór Ólafsson - Mechanics, Logistics (525 4474)
Gylfi Sigurðsson - Electronics (525 4487)
Rósa Ólafsdóttir - Cartography (525 5479)
Anna Eiríksdóttir - Office Manager (525 4492)
Dr. Guðmundur E. Sigvaldason - Emeritus (525 4494)
Dr. Amy Clifton - Structure and Tectonics (525 5481)

Dr. Peter Momme - 2nd year (525 5482)
Hannes Mattsson - 1st year (525 4495)
Anette K. Mortensen - 1st year (525 4489)
Heidi E. Soosalu - 1st year (525 5475)
Carolina Pagli - 1st year (525 4495)
Matthew Jackson - 1 st year (525 5481)

Dr. Harldur Karlsson - Visiting Scientist

In addition, 5 positions for postgraduate to postdoctoral research fellows to perform project-oriented studies in volcanology.

The Institute

The Nordic Volcanological Center, established in 1973, is one of several institutions in the cultural field financed jointly by the Nordic nations, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The scope of activity of the institute is defined in the first paragraph of its status:

"The NVI shall perform volcanological research aimed at the most important aspects of volcanology: petrography, geochemistry, geophysics and the history of volcanoes. The Institute shall provide facilities for scientists and students from the Nordic countries and - according to decisions made by the Board of Directors - from other countries as well, to study volcanism and related topics".


The research program of NVI is focussed on the dynamic aspects of magmatic processes. Geodetic methods are applied to study the deformation of the Earth's crust caused either by pressure changes in magmatic reservoirs or by tensional forces associated with rifting. Geochemical and petrological methods are used to study magmatic evolution in different tectonic settings as well as to study the differentiation of volatiles associated with magma movement. Geological methods are used to study the structure of volcanoes and to establish eruption and productivity patterns of volcanic areas. The Institute furthermore works on the development of instruments applied in volcano monitoring and operates field stations for continuous recording of crustal movements in volcanic areas. Since the Institute was established 12 volcanic eruptions have occured in Iceland. High priority is given to the documentation and study of short lived volcanic phenomena.

Type of monitoring devices applied:

1. KRAFLA volcano

- 3 borehole (two component) tiltmeters (NVI design). Seven months of hourly signals are kept in computer memory at the instrument site. Every two minutes, the originals are telemetered to an unmanned station in the area, sorted and evaluated by a computer which in turn is connected to the country-wide computer communication system. Data files are sent automatically to the institute's central computer in Reykjavík once a day. Computer software for the early detection of abnormal ground movements is being developed.

- 100 lines between permanent benchmarks are measured once or twice a year with an AGA 6BL and AGA 14 geodimeters.

- 18 dry tilt stations are measured twice a year with Wild precision instruments.

- Gases are sampled from fumarole fields at irregular intervals, but at least once a year.


2. VESTMANNAEYJAR (Heimaey, Surtsey)

- 2 borehole (two component) tiltmeters (NVI design) are operated on Heimaey. Data processing is the same as at Krafla volcano.

- 15 lines between permanent bench marks on the various islands are measured every second or third year with geodimeter.

3. HEKLA volcano

- 12 lines between permanent bench marks are measured every second year with geodimeter.

- 2 km levelling lines are measured once a year.


4. GRÍMSVÖTN volcano

- 1 tiltmeter (NVI design) is operated on a nunatak on the edge of the ice covered Grímsvötn caldera. A miniature powerstation designed by the Science Institute, Reykjavík, to use thermal energy from a nearby thermal area, provides energy for the tiltmeter, a seismograph and a transmitter. The signal is transmitted to Reyjavík by radio.


5. ASKJA volcano

- 8 lines between permanent benchmarks are measured every second year with a geodimeter.

- 5 km of levelling lines are measured every year.

- 10 dry tilt stations are measured every year.


6. KATLA volcano

- 1.3 km levelling lines are measured once a year.

Information updated 1991


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