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Volcanic Eruption Near Reykjanes


The Icelandic Government has reassured that the recent volcanic eruption near Reykjanes, situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, does not pose a threat to human life. The eruption, occurring between Sýlingarfell and Hagafell, north of Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula, holds significance given Iceland’s unique geological location.


GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Exploring Iceland: Key Geographical Features
  2. Global Volcanic Hotspots: Distribution and Characteristics

Exploring Iceland: Key Geographical Features

  • Mid-Atlantic Ridge Location:
    • Iceland is situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, recognized as the world’s longest mountain range, though it’s mostly submerged beneath the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Tectonic Plate Dynamics:
    • The Mid-Atlantic Ridge serves as a boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, resulting in heightened seismic activity.
  • Unique Geological Formation:
    • Emerging above the ocean surface in the North Atlantic, Iceland’s distinct geology showcases a landscape featuring geysers, glaciers, mountains, volcanoes, and lava fields.
  • “Land of Fire and Ice” Epithet:
    • Home to 33 active volcanoes, Iceland boasts the highest number in Europe, earning it the nickname “Land of Fire and Ice.”
  • Famous Volcanic Eruptions:
    • Eyjafjallajökull, a renowned Icelandic volcano, gained international attention with its 2010 eruption, causing a widespread ash cloud.
  • Notable Volcanoes:
    • Iceland is home to various notable volcanoes, including Hekla, Grímsvötn, Hóluhraun, and Litli-Hrútur, forming part of the Fagradalsfjall system.

Global Volcanic Hotspots: Distribution and Characteristics

Circum-Pacific Belt (Ring of Fire):
  • The Pacific “Ring of Fire” encompasses numerous volcanoes along the
  • ‘s subduction zones, exhibiting high seismic activity.
  • This belt, with a total of 452 volcanoes, extends from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, through Japan and Southeast Asia, to New Zealand.
Mid-Continental Belt:
  • Extending along the Alpine Mountain system, this volcanic belt traverses Europe, North America, Asia Minor, Caucasia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Himalayan Mountain system.
  • Notable features include volcanoes in the Alps, Mediterranean Sea (e.g., Stromboli, Vesuvius, Etna), Aegean Sea, Mt. Ararat (Turkey), Elburz, Hindu Kush, and the Himalayas.
Mid-Atlantic Ridge:
  • Separating the North and South American Plate from the Eurasian and African Plate, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is characterized by undersea volcanoes.
  • Magma rises through cracks, solidifying on the ocean floor, contributing to the longest topographic feature under the world’s oceans.
Intraplate Volcanoes (Hot-Spots):
  • Approximately 5% of known global volcanoes are considered intraplate or “hot-spot” volcanoes.
  • Hot spots are associated with deep-mantle plumes, resulting from slow convection of highly viscous material. Examples include the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chains.

-Source: The Hindu

March 2024