|Illhöfuð, NV-Mýrdalsjökull. Photograph: Kristján Jónasson.|
Geology is not only the study of age and type of sedimentary strata and geosites, it is also a study into the processes that control their development and evolution. Furthermore, research on fossils provides information about the evolution of life on earth. Geological maps are a good and simple way of conveying the geology of Iceland. Such maps summarise information on sedimentary strata and various topics connected to them, i.e., strata gradient, fractures and faults, geothermal heat, volcanic activity, sediment type etc. Icelandic bedrock is young in comparison to the age of the continents, the oldest bedrock being about 15 million years old. Surficial deposits, or loose surface material, mainly dates from the close of the Ice Age or younger, and is divided into sand, till, slides and soil etc. Important mines can be found in loose sedimentary strata, which can be used for construction. However, care must be taken when doing so, both due to the variable quality of materials and for the conservation of geosites, which can provide important information on the nature of the country.
A large collection of rocks, minerals and fossils can be found at the IINH. These all provide information on Iceland and are open to those carrying out research on Iceland's geology.
Kristján Jónasson is Head of Geology