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Geography of Iceland


Iceland has a varied topography but it is one of the most volcanic regions in the world. Because of this, Iceland has a rugged landscape dotted with hot springs, sulphur beds, geysers, lava fields, canyons and waterfalls. There are approximately 200 volcanoes in Iceland and most of them are active.


Iceland is a volcanic island primarily because of its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which separates the North American and Eurasian Earth plates.

This causes the island to be active geologically as the plates are constantly moving away from each other.

In addition, Iceland lies on a hotspot (like Hawaii) called the Iceland Plume which formed the island millions of years ago.

As a result in addition to earthquakes, Iceland is prone to volcanic eruptions and features the aforementioned geologic features such as hot springs and geysers.

The interior portion of Iceland is mostly an elevated plateau with small areas of forest but little land suitable for agriculture.

In the north however, there are extensive grasslands which are used by grazing animals such as sheep and cattle. Most of Iceland's agriculture is practiced along the coast.

Iceland's climate is temperate because of the Gulf Stream. Winters are usually mild and windy and summers are wet and cool.