Olafur Arnalds, Agricultural Research Institute, Department of Environmental Science, attended the Third International Conference on Cryopedolgy in Copenhagen, and expressed Iceland’s interest in becoming a member of the IPA.

A formal letter requesting membership has since been received. The most comprehensive permafrost related research in Iceland to date was done in the Thorsarver palsa-area, south of Hofjökull in Central Iceland by Thora Ellen Thorhallsdottir (Reykjavik University). The extent of this palsa area was surveyed in the summer 2001 by the National Power Company. The Natural Research Centre of northwest Iceland and the Agricultural Research Institute initiated a new research effort this year in the Orravatnsrustir palsa area in North Iceland. Little is known about the extent of permafrost in Iceland, but a beginning of a new long-term effort is scheduled for 2002. The Agricultural Research Institute is investigating cryoturbation of soils and the formation of hummocks in cooperation with Texas A&M University. A new soil map of Iceland has recently been completed by the Agricultural Research Institute (see www.rala.is/ desert).

Olafur Arnalds (ola@rala.is)