Mineral Resources in Iceland: Coal Mining

Iceland is known as “the land of fire and ice”. Those who come to know this country intimately, however, can see that even the island’s inhabitants are full of fire. They are hearty, honest, and proud of their ancestors. This book is dedicated to the Icelandic men and women involved in prospecting and mining of Icelandic coal deposits during the First and Second World Wars. Their effort helped the nation survive cruel periods of war and commercial blockades. The book is the first to provide a self-contained overview of the history of coal mining in Iceland, including extensive introductory chapters on the geology of the island and the origin of coal-bearing formations. The histories of exploratory works, mining methods, and mining companies also find their place in the book. The focal point, however, lies in the description of individual coal mines, ranging from the largest systems of adits and galleries of commercial origin to small pits utilized by local farmers. Besides its historical-economic aspect, the book will be of great significance for the support of geoheritage and the promotion and protection of inanimate nature. It will appeal to a wide range of readers, such as historians, anthropologists, geologists, paleontologists, climatologists, and the general public interested in the history and nature of this beautiful Nordic country.


Richard Pokorný, PhD, is a Czech paleontologist, speleologist, traveller, and promoter of popular science. He has long been involved in scientific activities in northern Europe with a focus on Iceland and the Faroe Islands. For this purpose, he founded the Institute Julius von Payer for Subarctic and Arctic Research, bringing together specialists on biotopes in cold regions of Earth. He has authored eight books and over 50 journal articles.

Veronika Fialová graduated from the Faculty of the Environment of Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Czech Republic, and completed a geological internship at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Reykjavík. Her MSc thesis explored local historical coal mining.

Dr Friðgeir Grímsson is the foremost Icelandic paleobotanist and palynologist, currently active at the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research of the University of Vienna, Austria. His research focuses on the history of Cretaceous and Cenozoic land plants.

Vít Koutecký is a PhD student of the Faculty of Science of Charles University, Prague. He specializes in the study of fossil wood anatomy with special emphasis on Cenozoic flora. His MSc and PhD theses explore Palaeogene volcanic flora of northwestern Bohemia, and he promotes the use of the so-called “whole-plant” concept in palaeobotany.

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ISBN: 1-5275-6717-6

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-6717-7

Release Date: 1st June 2021

Pages: 315

Price: £64.99