Iceland - Mid Atlantic Exposed
October 4 (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Teton Co. Library Auditorium – Open to Public. Presentation: “ Iceland: The Mid-Atlantic Ridge Exposed!”. Presented by Mike Adler, Geologists of Jackson Hole.
Where the earth’s surface is created – mid-oceanic ridges, can best be seen in Iceland, and Mike Adler will take the audience on a tour of the island and its geology. His talk will describe the fascinating geology of Iceland as well as highlighting its beautiful scenery. The key geological feature of Iceland is the Mid-Atlantic ridge which appears above sea level in Iceland and marks the boundary between the North American and the Eurasian plates. These plates are moving apart by 2.5cm/year and create the longest mountain range in the world – from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and almost all of which is over 2500 meters below sea level . The fact that there is a hotspot under this ridge in Iceland makes it unique. This creates the Iceland volcanic plume where over the last 65 million years 10 million km³ of magma has erupted. The island of Iceland itself is less than 25 million years old. In the talk we will explore the location on the southwest coast where the mid Atlantic ridge emerges from the sea and two other locations where the ridge creates a spectacular trough cutting across the island. Other areas of geological interest include the largest glaciers in Europe, as well as the many active volcanoes of Iceland. These include the Laki eruptions in the 1780’s which resulted in wide spread famine and disaster in the northern hemisphere and are thought to have led to the French revolution, and the Eyjafjallajokull eruption which caused the disruption in air travel in Europe in 2010. The talk also features wonderful scenery from all around the island, with its many waterfalls, glaciers, and mountains as well as the aurora borealis (northern lights).