Between Two Tectonic Plates

October 14, 2016


Photographer: Jim Bucko
Summary Authors: Jim Bucko; Jim Foster

Shown above is a small portion of the rift valley on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near Reykjanesviti, Iceland. It's where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Actually, both plates are drifting away from each other -- at a rate of approximately 1 in (2.5 cm) per year. For scale purposes, the distance between the hardened magma walls here is about 30 ft (10 m). Note that ├×ingvellir, to the northeast of Reykjanesviti, is the location where the rift valley is most obvious and where most photos are taken.