Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Fracture systems of the Northern Volcanic Rift Zone, Iceland: an onshore part of the Mid-Atlantic plate boundary

By
Á. R. Hjartardóttir
Á. R. Hjartardóttir
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Search for other works by this author on:
P. Einarsson
P. Einarsson
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Search for other works by this author on:
S. Magnúsdóttir
S. Magnúsdóttir
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Search for other works by this author on:
Þ. Björnsdóttir
Þ. Björnsdóttir
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Search for other works by this author on:
B. Brandsdóttir
B. Brandsdóttir
Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2016

Abstract

Few divergent plate boundaries are subaerial. Active rifts in Iceland provide valuable surface information on divergent spreading processes, rifting and faulting. The 200 km long and 50 km wide Northern Volcanic Rift Zone (NVZ) is composed of 7 volcanic systems, each consisting of a central volcano with a transecting fissure swarm. Fractures and postglacial eruptive fissures in the NVZ were analysed using aerial photographs and satellite images to study their characteristics and behaviour. While non-eruptive fractures characterize the distal (c. 40–100 km) parts of the fissure swarms, eruptive fissures are most common at distances less than c. 20–30 km from the central volcano. Fractures within the fissure swarms are generally subparallel, with a N–NNE strike. Irregular orientations are associated with calderas within the central volcanoes Askja and Krafla, and at the junction of the NVZ and the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, where high fracture densities also occur. WNW-orientated fractures at the southern end of the Krafla Fissure Swarm, and the northern end of the Kverkfjöll Fissure Swarm, exhibit surface expressions of a transform zone. The fissure swarms within the rift zone are mostly seismically and geodetically inactive, becoming highly active during rifting events that occur at time intervals of tens to a few hundred years.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Magmatic Rifting and Active Volcanism

T. J. Wright
T. J. Wright
University of Leeds, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
A. Ayele
A. Ayele
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Search for other works by this author on:
D. J. Ferguson
D. J. Ferguson
University of Leeds, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
T. Kidane
T. Kidane
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Search for other works by this author on:
C. Vye-Brown
C. Vye-Brown
British Geological Survey, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
420
ISBN electronic:
9781862391345
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal