Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 22, 2017

Where America meets Europe

The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Iceland. This is the only place  on land where we can easily see the effects of 2 major plates drifting apart. The plates are constantly diverging, causing fissures and gullies and creating a diverse and stunning landscape. The plates move at the rate of 2 centimetres a year.

Standing on the edge at Thinvellir national park.

Thinvellir national park is a popular place to visit in Iceland. Thinvellir lake is the largest in Iceland and it is magnificent. Like much of Iceland, the landscape is dramatic, with rocky cliffs, waterways and mountain backdrops.

We were there at the beginning of summer and there were wildflowers and new life everywhere.

It is possible to snorkel or dive in the lake. The water is crystal clear with visibility to 100 metres. You can actually see the giant fissures between the plates.  I will tell you all about that in the next post.


  1. Fascinating place – I really must get there some day. Officially added to my “bucket list.” I, on the other hand, am more familiar with tectonic plates colliding – I grew up not far from a portion of the San Andreas Fault in California. In that case, the North American plate is being subducted under the eastern edge of the Pacific plate. We have plenty of earthquakes and temblors to keep us alert. 🙂 Thanks for another interesting post, Debra!

    • Iceland has all kinds of activity. Volcanoes, tectonic plates, glaciers and hundreds of waterfalls. It is a stunning place. I hope you get there one day soon.

  2. Spectacular and amazing county.

  3. No doubt that the active presence of the plates has contributed to the uniqueness of the landscape.

    • Iceland is completely different from anywhere I have been.

  4. I found this fascinating.

    • I did too. Iceland is amazing.

  5. What superb pictures! You’ve captured the wildness of this volcanic country off the beaten track. Lovely to see new life and wild flowers, also.

  6. Great post and pics, Debra. We visited there a couple of years ago and found it just as fascinating! Such a unique and amazing landscape! We loved Iceland.

    • Iceland is an amazing place. We loved it too.

  7. Obviously a photographic gold mine!

    • I have quite a lot of photos to work my way through.

  8. 2cm per year is actually quite rapid isn’t it. The spring flowers and fluffy duck are lovely – it’s not surprising that in that part of the world they have lovely festivals to celebrate the changing seasons. I’m envious!

    • It doesn’t sounds like much, but it does move quite quickly.

  9. […] via Where America meets Europe — Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

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