Abstract

Volcanologic and geomorphic studies in southwestern Iceland show that (1) the basalt breccias of the palagonite deposits exhibit striking analogies with those of Velay (Haute-Loire, France), and similarly seem to be of directly eruptive origin; (2) the fissured domes of certain basalts are the effect of dilatation during cooling; (3) the topography is controlled not only by volcanism but also by four systems of fractures; (4) present eolian action is due to winds from the north and northeast (glaciers) or south and southeast (Atlantic Ocean); (5) dreikanter basalt blocks are now being formed only on the south coast, those in the interior having been formed earlier in times of more extensive glaciation; (6) polygonal soils were formed by shrinkagefollowing pressures developed by winter ice, the size of the polygons depending on whether segmentation was easy (small polygons) or difficult (large polygons).

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