Imagine two tectonic plates drifting apart that can be seen from above the sea or ground level – in Iceland you can. The movements have been taking place for millions of years.
A tectonic plate or lithospheric plate is a huge solid rock that floats in a separate position from other tectonic plates. The inner structure of the Earth consists of the crust, upper mantle; lower mantle the solid inner core as well as the liquid outer core. When tectonic plates interact, they diverge, slip past each other and converge causing the Earth’s volcanic and seismic activity.
The stunning sights of the Þingvellir National Park landscape enable one to see in shallow waters and on land, the tectonic processes that are taking place in the underwater areas of the ridge.
Iceland consists of three zones. Tertiary flood basalts are in the northwestern part of the quadrant, and its lava flows are approximately 3,000 m thick. Hyaloclastites and the Quaternary flood basalts are situated in the central, east and southwest sections of the island. The area features a topographic depression characterized by numerous faults. The neo-volcanic zone has many Fissure swarms.
Iceland was formed from the interactions of the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian tectonic plate. Specifically, the formation of Iceland was caused by divergent and spreading between the two plates as well as the activity of Iceland’s mantle plume. The plates moved apart causing massive eruptions of lava that formed volcanoes and filled rift valleys. More movements caused the lava fields to a rift forming a long lined valley with faults side-by-side.
Iceland features a stunning geological made up of sweeping valleys with majestic cliffs as well as primordial forces that are consistently shaping the island. This is most visible in the Þingvellir National Park area.