The heterogeneous and locally anomalously thick Icelandic upper crust cannot be fully explained with current models of crustal construction. A model that invokes frequent shifts of the volcanic zone (accreting plate boundary) is proposed as an alternative. Three important parameters, which result from a complex history of shifting, determine the upper crustal structure of Iceland: (1) the time interval between two successive shifts, (2) the scale of lateral displacements of the volcanic zone, and (3) the intensity of volcanism at each volcanic zone.

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