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Iceland Geology, Part 1

I was able to attend the International Geological Congress held in Oslo, Norway. An associated field exersion to Iceland provided an excellent opportunity so I took it! 


Gullfoss, a massive waterfall along the Hvita River in southern Iceland. The water flows through a canyon that Geologists believe was created by a jokulhlaup. A jokulhlaup is an icelandic term for when a volcanic erruption occurs underneath an active glaicer, creating a massive flood. During a jokulhlaup the amount of water flowing towards the sea during a single 24 hour period can equal a normal flow of up to five years!

Gullfoss - Close up



Eldgja (Eruption fissure and lava flow), This fissure is approximatley 75km from end to end, this video shows the midsection of the overall fissure and is 600 m across and 150 m deep. Lava from this volcanic feature covered an area of 800 km2 and is up to 14 km3 in volume. The Eldgja eruption is thought to have occured from 934 to 940 AD


View from the river


Skogafoss is 25m across and drops approximately 60m. The Skógafoss waterfall is situated in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded into the sea (it is now at a distance of about 5 km from Skógar), the cliffs stayed behind parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometers, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the Lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.

Visit to Iceland Page Two...


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Geology of Iceland