Iceland is believed to be one of the main dust-producing areas in the northern hemisphere, Kjarninn reports. The majority of the dust that forms in Iceland is blown northwards across the country and out towards the sea, even as far north as Svalbard. The international HiLDA project started measuring the past July 17 in Raufarhöfn in North-East Iceland. The scientists from the Germany University of Darmstadt have put up dust measurement devices in the area.
Rif Field Center
The research is led by Rif Field Center, a research center in the land of Rif, the northernmost private land in Iceland. A private non-profit institution, Rif staff members will take care of the sample collection. Three different dust measurement devices will collect dust samples for up to two years. Rif Field Center was founded in 2014 with the goal of monitoring the ecosystem in the area around Raufarhöfn and on Melrakkaslétta peninsula, the most easily accessible Icelandic area which is classified as a polar region. Rif works with both Icelandic and multinational research institutes, with the goal that the Melrakkaslétta peninsula becomes one of the main focus areas for research on arctic ecosystems and climate change in those areas.
The monitoring has so far focused on birdlife, flora, and smaller animals, but a 2020 project now monitors freshwater on the peninsula. A weather station was erected there in 2018, and now the dust research project has been added to the list.
Head to the Rif Field Center website for further information on projects and applications.