Thingvellir – a rift valley

Lake Thingvallavatn and the western edge of the Thingvellir Rift Valley.Þingvellir

Thingvellir is Iceland’s no. 1 national park, with its history of the oldest national assembly still operating in the world and the rift valley forming due to tectonic drift. Those who study the tectonic plates thoroughly can see that the main division line according to measurable drift directions is found along the South Iceland Seismic Zone. Therefore, Thingvellir area does drift to the NW, but being located at the western edge of the West Volcanic Zone – which is a rift zone – it can be regarded as a continuation of the top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge along with other areas of the two rift zones of Iceland. The two plates of N-America and Eurasia are so large that taking the so-called Hreppar microplate into account is somehow trivial. To me, Thingvellir represent the division between Europe and America quite clearly. If the western edge is for sure the beginning of the N-American plate, then the other side of the rift valley can be represented as the Eurasian part of Iceland. Logical enough?

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