Visitors 9
Modified 10-Aug-15
Created 11-Jul-15
95 photos, 3 videos

The island of Iceland sits over a hot spot (mantle plume) on top of the Mid-Atlantic ridge where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart. The oldest part of the island is about 16 million years old (NW Iceland), while the youngest part is only about 50 years old (Surtsey I. in the Westmann Islands). Iceland is one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth with many currently not erupting but active volcanos, and dormant volcanos on the island. As a result, there are many geothermal areas where hot springs, mud-pots and geysers occur, although none reach the size and activity of the Yellowstone basin in America. The word geyser is Icelandic in origin, coming from Geysir, a former erupting hot spring near Reykjavik. The nation of Iceland has exploited its abundant geothermal energy to generate electricity, run greenhouses for fruit and vegetable production, and provide hot water for multiple uses. For example, houses in many areas have two separate water supplies, one hot and one cold, while most of its swimming pools are geothermal heated. Then there is the famous Blue Lagoon, where tourists spend lots of money to bathe in what is essentially industrial "effluent" from the adjacent geothermal power plant!
Geothermal steam, near KeflavikGeothermal Greenhouse, GrindavikGeothermal energy station at Blue LagoonThe Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, IcelandThe Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, IcelandThe Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, IcelandThe Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, IcelandAlong the road to the Blue Lagoon, IcelandMyvatyn geothermal plant and bathsMyvatn Geothermal plantMyvatn Geothermal plantMyvatn Geothermal plantMyvatn geothermal area, from overlookHverir basin, near Krafla and MyvatnMud-pot at HverirMudpots at HverirSteaming outflows from fumaroles, HverirMudpots, HverirMudpots, HverirHverir thermal area

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