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Book Chapter

New Interpretation of the Geology of Iceland

Peter L. Ward
Peter L. Ward
Lamont-Doberty Geological Obsertatory of Columbia University, Palisades. New York 10964.
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January 01, 1976


Two active transform faults are identified on land in Iceland. This observation leads to a new interpretation of the tectonics of Iceland that is generally consistent with the available geologic, geomorphic, and geophysical data. This new interpretation provides a framework that can be used to relate detailed geologic and geophysical studies in Iceland to worldwide processes at the crests of mid-ocean ridges.

Nearly one-half of Iceland seems to have formed during a period of very slow spreading between about 9 and 20 m.y. B.P. The center of spreading within Iceland apparently shifted from western to eastern Iceland around 7 or 8 m.y. B.P. Iceland, the largest land mass on the mid-kxean ridge system, may have resulted from a change in the stress pattern on a broad fracture zone, allowing large volumes of lava to be erupted while there was little regional spreading.

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GSA Microform Publications

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Peter A. Rona
Peter A. Rona
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories 15 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami, Florida 33149
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Geological Society of America
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Publication date:
January 01, 1976




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