Volcanoes galore in Iceland

Iceland's "double whammy" position overlying both a mid-ocean ridge and a mantle hot spot produces vast outpourings of lava that have built the island up from the seafloor. Because of the hot spot, the volume of erupted material is about 10 times that found at normal mid-ocean locations that don't coincide with hot spots. In this post, I'll show some...
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Standing between tectonic plates in Iceland

Sitting in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is the island country of Iceland. Visiting Iceland is on pretty much every geologist's "bucket list" because of its unique above-water position on a plate boundary where two plates are moving apart from each other (i.e., diverging). During a trip there with other geologists in July, I explored the landscapes of...
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Plate tectonics 101—what happens when plates move away from each other?

It's winter in the midst of a pandemic, and travel is restricted. So it seems a good time to go back to some geologic basics, the knowledge of which are sometimes assumed in these blog posts. The next four posts will explore the essentials of plate tectonics—the underpinning of our modern geologic understanding. Plate tectonics refers to the processes that...
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About the Blogger

Karen (here with Mt. Shasta in background) is a geology professor emerita who aims to provide a "pocket geologist" for world travelers. Follow the blog to explore the landscapes of our planet and figure out what causes them to look the way they do.

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