Cryoturbation is very active in Iceland due to frequent freeze-thaw cycles in the oceanic sub-arctic climate, and most soils and land surfaces show some geomorphic surface features that result from frost activity.

The scientific collaboration between A. Decaulne and Þ. Sæmundsson, Natural Research Centre of Northwestern Iceland, Sauðárkrókur, continued on periglacial dynamics on slopes in northwestern and northcentral Iceland, with specific emphasis on slope processes, slope deposit stratigraphy, dendrogeomorphology, and on the survey of the sporadic permafrost in the Icelandic highlands. Among other current activities are the continued measurements in the Orravatnsrustir palsa area north of Hofsjökull (Náttúrustofa Norðurlands Vestra and Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) in co-operation with other partners). Three years of data from Orravatnsrustir indicate very dynamic surface processes and permafrost thickness exceeding six. The Agricultural University continues its research on the formation of soil ice and its characteristics in desert ecosystems and on frost effects on microbial biomass in Icelandic Andosols in cooperation with University of Aberdeen. Iceland also participates in the ITEX Arctic research programme, under the leadership of I.S. Jónsdóttir (AUI) and co-workers.

The polar research group of the Laboratory of Physical and Environmental Geography of Clermont-Ferrand (GEOLAB–UMR 6042-CNRS) has been involved in various activities of interest to the periglacial community. Most of the fieldwork has been carried out in Iceland which is the main field area currently investigated by the GEOLAB team. H. Farbrot and co-workers recently published a paper on the first quantitative description of mountain permafrost obtained from four high altitude boreholes. Data loggers continue to obtain ground temperatures in these boreholes (B. Etzelmüller, T. Eiken, H. Farbrot, A. Gudmundsson).

Ólafur Arnalds (oa@lbhi.is)