Report 25th October 2011

 

Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire

Mrs. Angela Henson’s talk attracted a large audience, the biggest at a male-only meeting for at least 10 years.  On her fifth visit to the Forum, she spoke on ‘Iceland: land of ice and fire’, having visited Europe’s most isolated country in 1980, 1984 and 1998.  Once again her slides were excellent and her knowledge prodigious.  As usual she spoke fluently and without notes.

Taking her theme from her previous talk about the volcanoes of Sicily, Mrs. Henson explained the geology behind the “ring of fire” and pointed out that Iceland’s 65 volcanoes sit astride the Mid-Atlantic ridge as Europe and North America slide slowly apart. 

Iceland also has spectacular geysers, amazing waterfalls and a unique flora,   It is the only site in Europe where icebergs can be seen on a lake.  Icelanders rely on electricity as there is no coal, oil or gas and for several centuries no wood.  Sheep destroyed the trees over centuries but birch plantations have now been established.

Members warmly applauded Mrs.Henson’s description of a fascinating and unusual land, its terrain having been chosen in the 1960s for moon landing training by U.S. astronauts.  The landscape was suitably barren and deserted for a lunar simulation. 

Only 250,000 people live in the country, most of them in Reykjavik, the capital.

John Taylor   

 

 

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