Geology Of Iceland Essay

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The geology of Iceland is one of the most unique in the world. Iceland lies along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a divergent plate boundary with the rift running across from the southwest to the northeastern part of the country. As a result, Iceland is rifted apart with half of the country lying on the Eurasian plate and the other half on the North American plate. Although Iceland is considered to be between two tectonic plates, culturally Iceland is part of Europe. Iceland was created by a hotspot, much like Hawaii, and due to a combination of hot spot activity and plate tectonics, Iceland has undergone many geologically processes. The mantle plume itself is traveling toward the northwest part of the island, creating amazing geological features as it goes. Some of Iceland’s unique features include volcanoes, geysers, lava fields, rift valleys, hot springs, and subglacial volcanoes. Currently Iceland has over 20 active volcanoes.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the mantle plume create earthquakes and new volcanoes. Iceland experiences volcanic eruptions on average every five to ten years. The main types of lava produced by Icelandic volcanoes are tephra and basalt.
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Bardarbunga is an example of a type of subglacial volcano as it is underneath the Vatnajokull glacier. This 2,300 feet deep caldera contains many fissures along which eruptions frequently occur. Bardarbunga erupts approximately twice every century with the last eruption having been in 1910 before the more recent eruption in 2014-2015. This subglacial volcano is known for producing the largest lava flow in the past 10,000 years. Bardarbunga is also known as being a composite volcano that produces effusive eruptions. One key concern for Bardarbunga is the risk of floods in the surrounding areas as the lava flows melt glacial ice. Fortunately, this volcano is located in a more remote area of

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