Tectonic troubles / by Kristjan Torr

I'm spending my last days in the south, pointing my camera down in an attempt to observe how Iceland is slowly splitting apart from south to north in a local volcanic event that has been going on for at least seventeen million years.

Reykjanes is one of few places in the solar system where plate tectonics are visible to the human eye where the outer shell of Earth is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle over a long time. Sixty million years ago the gigantic North Atlantic plate broke off into several ridges causing them to drift apart opening up rifts where magma rises to the surface forming the crust beneath my tired feet.

Explosive eruptions occurred on the coastline resulting in a formation of two tephra craters which spread ash across the peninsula. These eruptions are dated to the early 13. century and caused havoc among the children of the settlement who ever since have had to weigh a permanent battle with the elements on this drifty island in the North Atlantic.

Let us affix our vehicle and steam east for winter. These zones are due for an eruption.