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A giants meeting: North American and Eurasian tectonic plates astonishing divergency

Updated: Jun 2

#Geology #tectonicplates #learning #Iceland

Interactions of tectonic plates generate various geologic features, from mountain belts to faults.

One unique example is represented by Iceland, the only inhabited island in the world where tectonic plates and ocean ridge are visible on land. This makes Iceland a real hotspot in geological context. In Thingvellir National Park, southern part of Iceland, the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet or rather move away from each other. Island's location on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge makes from Iceland a "bridge" between the two tectonic domains. Many of the volcanic eruptions from here are caused by the North American and European tectonic plates moving apart, recent example being the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in April 2010 which disrupted air travel across large parts of Europe. (

This divergent margin, offset throughout by transform faults, began spreading approximately 180 Ma ago, opening the North Atlantic Ocean (Kearey, 2009). Evidence of Mesozoic juvenile crust formation in New England can be correlated with the event (McHone, 1984). (



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