Geology of Iceland

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Iceland Mid-Atlantic Ridge Fig16.gif

The geology of Iceland is unique and of particular interest to geologists. Iceland lies on the divergent boundary between the Eurasian plate and the North American plate. It also lies above a hotspot, the Iceland plume, which is believed to have caused the formation of Iceland itself, the island first appearing over the ocean surface about 16 to 18 million years ago.[1][2] The result is an island characterised by repeated volcanism and geothermal phenomena such as geysers.

The eruption of Laki in 1783 caused much devastation and loss of life and affected Europe.

In the period 1965 to 1969 the new island of Surtsey was created on the southwest coast by a volcanic eruption.


Opening of the North Atlantic

Cenozoic fossiliferous strata

  • Vegetational changes
  • Past climate
  • Origin of the strata
  • Fossil preservation


  • Glacier extent
  • Nunataks and icefree areas
  • Interglacials
  • Tuyas and subcanism

Holocene changes and volcanism

Human impact and natural catastrophes

Current climate change

Current tectonics

  • Rift jump
  • Seismic activity
  • Volcano tectonics

See also


  1. Tobias Weisenberger (2013). "Introduction to the geology of Iceland".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes of the World, Vol. 24" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-08-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links