Icelandic Rift Valley

Photo
LEFT: Thingvellir is the name of this location within the Icelandic rift valley, a subaerially exposed part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The shoulder of the rift valley is located on the left side of the photo. The buildings are located in the valley itself. A large fault and fissure zone separates the shoulder from the valley. The rock in the foreground is basalt. RIGHT: Aerial view of the area near Thingvellir, Iceland, showing a normal fault (down to the left) and fissure zone (in shadow) that is the on-land exposure of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. The view is to the south, with the North American plate located to the right of the fissure and the Eurasian plate located to the left. Photo credit: Oddur Sigurdsson, National Energy Authority, Iceland. Image from website: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/seg/hazard/slideset/10/10_slides.html