Where do tectonic plates meet in Iceland?

Question:

Where do tectonic plates meet in Iceland?

Divergent Plate Boundaries:

Plate tectonics describes the motion of large pieces of the lithosphere across the surface of the earth and the interactions of these plates. Plate boundaries (the sections where two plates meet) can be convergent, divergent, or transform. A convergent plate boundary occurs where two plates are moving towards each other, while a transform plate boundary occurs when plates are sliding past one another. Divergent plate boundaries occur where two plates are moving away from each other.

Answer and Explanation:

Iceland is on the divergent boundary between the Eurasian plate moving to the east and the North American plate moving to the west. This boundary is called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and it is almost entirely submerged, except in Iceland. Iceland is formed by a magma hot spot located along the ridge, allowing volcanoes and subsequent eruptions to form the island (which is growing about two inches per year).

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge passes from the capitol Reykjavik on the west coast to the northeast through Thingvellir National Park. The park contains many geological features created by the divergent plate boundary. The boundary passes eastward through the center of the island, toward Grimsvotn and Laki volcanoes. The ridge then continues in a more north-south direction, extending in the south to the volcanic coastal island named Surtsey, and continuing northward past the Hekla, Askja, and Krafla volcanoes to the Arctic Ocean.


Learn more about this topic:

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Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

from CLEP Natural Sciences: Study Guide & Test Prep

Chapter 11 / Lesson 9
795K

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