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Icelandic Geology
Iceland is a geologically fascinating and unique country, situated right above the geologic rift between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. Looking at the map, it seems that the rift cuts the island in two halves, and it is believed that the rift is responsible for the formation of Iceland itself about 18 million years ago. Considering all this underlying tension, the country is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity: 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating. The infamous Laki volcano erupted in 1783 and caused a famine that wiped out nearly a quarter of the population. On March 21, 2010, a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull erupted for the first time since 1821, forcing 600 people to evacuate their homes. Over the next four days, further eruptions produced a cloud of volcanic ash that resulted in major flight disruptions across Europe.

But it’s not only the volcanoes, Iceland also has some of the world’s most famous geysers. Actually the term "geyser" originated with the Icelandic word "geysa," meaning "to gush," and the name was given to the great Geysir in Iceland from which all other geysers were generically named. Geysir is thought to have become active in 1294, and it used to erupt every 60 minutes until the early 1900s when it became dormant. In year 2000, earthquakes roused the slumbering Geysir, and it now erupts every 8 to 10 hours. Another of Iceland's famous geysers is Strokkur, which is also one of the most persistent in the world. Located in the Haukadaur valley, it was first reported in 1789 and now erupts every 5 to 10 minutes. Geysir and Strokkur offer fantastic spectacles that have attracted travelers for well over a century. They are frequently visited as part of the Golden Circle, a famous route that is home to a number of points of interest in southern Iceland.