The Iceland hotspot is one of the key features of the North Atlantic Igneous Province and is the only place on Earth where the construction of such provinces may be observed directly. As such it is an example of the formation of proto-continents earlier in the history of the Earth. Nowhere else is the volcanic and tectonic architecture of seafloor rifts better exposed. Large icecaps and extensive river systems reduce the volcanic pile at rapid rates, dispersing and forming thick sequences of sediments. For more than seven million years Iceland has been at the boundary of major air and ocean masses and has been exposed to extreme climates.
The effects of climate on rock-forming processes are clearly illustrated by diverse sedimentary and volcanic successions whilst there is an unequalled range of volcanic landforms from sub-aqueous and sub-aerial environments. For over a decade this concise and authoritative field guide to an exceptional natural laboratory has been an essential companion for all those visiting Iceland to observe the Earth in action. Iceland has been thoroughly revised to reflect the latest events and scientific understanding this title in the Classic Geology in Europe series is presented with full colour illustration throughout for the first time.
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Professor Thor Thordarson is Professor in petrology and volcanology Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, and Dr Ármann Höskuldsson, Senior research scientist at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland.