Geology and Landscape

The Reykjanes Peninsula is a young section of Iceland. It is a land-born, highly volcanic counterpart of the Mid-Atlantic Spreading Ridge where two tectonic plates part at an average rate of 2.0-2.5 cm/yr.

The peninsula, with an area of 2,000 sq. km, contains late Quaternary volcanic palagonite tuff and pillow lava formations as mountains from the last glacial periods. Also basaltic lava flows and volcanic structures from interglacial periods, especially from the last 11,500 years (the Holocene).

Four volcanic systems and fissure swarms line the peninsula from SW to NE. They contain open fissures, normal faults, high-temperature geothermal fields and volcanic fissures. These are lined with monogenetic craters.

Many small and large lava shields are found in the area, some made of primitive mantle melt (picrite). Eruptions have occurred in the three westernmost systems during the past millennium, all in long episodes, in the 10/11th centuries, in 1151-1180 and 1210-1240.

  • Reykjanes information center
  • Duus - culture centre
  • Duusgata 2-8
  • 230 Reykjanesbær, Iceland
  • (+354) 421 3796
  • info@visitreykjanes.is