Geologic Investigations in Iceland

relief map, color

Work to date has mainly concentrated on the post-glacial eruptive history of the Western Volcanic Zone. See Sinton, Grönvold and Sæmundsson, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 6, 2005
Link to G3 html version of the paper (AGU journal access required)
Link to pdf version of the paper

wvz Fig 1

The Western Volcanic Zone (WVZ) is a 170-km long plate boundary that has experienced > 40 separate eruptions since the end of the last major glaciation, producing >110 km3 of subaerial lava.  See map under downloads (below)
wvz eruption rate

Following an initial pulse, probably related to the effects of deglaciation on mantle melting, eruption rates have steadily decreased in post-glacial time along the WVZ

File for viewing and plotting

Geologic Map of the Western Volcanic Zone, 1:200 000 as a 27" x  32" pdf file (WVZ_Map.pdf, 10.1 Mb)


Geodatabase - ArcGIS shapefiles.  This is a zipped compressed file containing shapefiles of lava unit outcrops and faults (, 1 MB)

Spreadsheet of  charcoal ages for WVZ lava units, including calibrations (wvz_14C.xls; 22 kb)

Spreadsheet with sample geographic coordinates and whole-rock geochemical data for WVZ post-glacial lava units (wvz_xrf.xls; 165 kb)

Useful Links

Nordic Volcanological Center, University of Iceland

Science Institute, University of Iceland

Introduction to the geology and geodynamics of Iceland (by Reidar Trønnes, 2 Mb pdf file)

Icelandic Meteorological Office, Department of Physics (for  geophysical monitoring throughout Iceland)

Orkuveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavík hotwater and geothermal energy company)

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