The Nordic island country formed as a result of the widening boundary of the Eurasian and North American plates. Iceland volcanoes is a result of much of this activity.
It takes the form of a ridge comprising of an underwater mountainous range that extends 16,000 km along the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland traverses the Mid-Atlantic Ridge along the North American and Eurasian plates.
As the plates began to drift apart, excessive eruptions of lava were produced constructing the Iceland volcanoes and rift valleys. Continued movements lifted the lava field resulting in long, narrow valleys surrounded by parallel faults.
Currently, the changes still take place accompanied by earthquakes, the creation of new Iceland volcanoes as well as reactivation of old volcanoes.
Iceland has the most volcanoes in the world. According to research, a third of lava eruptions since 1500AD occurred in Iceland. In the years between 1900 and 1998, there were eleven Iceland volcanoes.
Most of the eruptions were from the shield or fissure volcanoes producing basaltic lava. Nonetheless, in the last Ice Age, Iceland was buried under ice, and all explosions became subglacial.
However, fragments of the ice cap are still seen in the area, and Iceland continues to undergo numerous subglacial eruptions.
Iceland hosts more than 95 volcanoes. This enormous activity is attributed to a combination of Mid-Atlantic Ridge activity as well as hotspot activity. Hotspot causes explosions within the southern Icelandic volcanic region especially in areas such as Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands), Mt Hekla, Eyjafjallajökull and Katla caldera.
Eruptions have been noted to occur in Iceland every 5-10 years especially the ones consisting of tephra and basaltic lava.
In most recent times, the eruption of Grímsvötn under the Vatnajökull glacier in May 2011 sent thousands of tonnes of ash clouds into the sky within a few days, heightening unease of travel disruption observed across the northern part of Europe.