Iceland's Mid-Atlantic Ridge

December 10, 2018

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Photographer: Nel Graham 
Summary Author: Nel Graham

The island of Iceland is one of the extraordinary places where you can view the Mid-Atlantic Ridge above sea level. The ridge is a mostly under water mountain range that extends down the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and even around the southern tip of Africa into the Indian Ocean. Its discovery was some of the first evidence supporting the theory of plate tectonics. Iceland is above the level of the sea not only because it's positioned abreast of the ridge, but because it lies on a hot spot over the Earth's mantle. The upwelling of the buoyant magma from this hotspot has, over tens of thousands of years, pushed high enough to break the surface of the ocean.

This photo was taken from Thingvellir National Park, on the North American Plate side of the ridge, looking east across the rift valley to the Eurasian Plate. Photo taken on November 1, 2018.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon PowerShot ELPH 180; Exposure Time: 0.0080s (1/125); Aperture: ƒ/4.0; ISO equivalent: 400; Focal Length: 14.9mm.