Meeting of N.American and European tectonic plates

Meeting of N.American and European tectonic plates

E350/0045

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Caption

The ravine in the foreground marks the meeting of the North American tectonic plate & the European tectonic plate near Pingvellir, Iceland. The ravine is part of the Atlantic Fault which cuts across Iceland from north-east to south-west. The two plates are slowly moving apart by the process of continental drift, as the Atlantic widens. This process causes Iceland's intense seismic & volcanic activity. The last major earthquake occurred at Pingvellir in 1789, when part of the land sank by 50cm in 10 days. Pingvellir Church marks the historic spot where Viking settlers in Iceland held their first General Assembly in about 930 AD.

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