July 20, 2014 10 Comments
Iceland sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the intersection of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This “Land of Fire and Ice” has 30-40 active volcanoes and a major eruption about every 5 years. A new island named Surtsey formed after an eruption in 1963-1967. Homes on the offshore island of Heimaey were suddenly covered up by lava and ash in 1973 (thus giving it the nickname “Iceland’s Pompeii”). A new volcano museum named Eldheimar opened there in May 2014 (http://eldheimar.is/en/). Worldwide air travel was disrupted for days by the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.
All of this volcanic activity means that there are numerous places to see geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and volcanic calderas in Iceland. Our favorite geyser was Strokkur outside of Reykjavik. It makes an unbelievable blue bubble for a split second before the water gushes up. The English word “geyser” comes from Iceland’s original “Geysir” (which means gusher). All of the places pictured are within an easy day trip from Reykjavik.