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Iceland: Earth on Fire

Aerial shots of show-stopping volcanic action
Bernhard Edmaier, Svartsengi, Rejkjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Sea-water that has seeped into the cracks and pores of the volcanic rock is heated to a temperature of over 100 degrees Celsius.
Since 1978 this water has been used to produce electricity and thermal heat by a geothermal power station.



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Bernhard Edmaier, photographer and geologist, took these spectacular aerial photographs of Iceland's volcanic scenery to reveal how natural forces - while potentially devastating and disruptive - have shaped such a dramatic and beautiful landscape.

Geologically speaking, Europe shares its western border with North America.  The two plates meet in the middle of the Atlantic, where the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge run along the sea-floor from north to south, deep under the ocean.  Magma surges up from the earth's interior through fissures in the sea-bed here, and pushes the two giant plates apart. 

Europe and North America move between five and 10 centimetres further away from each other every year. The only place where this plate boundary is visible above water is in Iceland, where a hot spot presses the Mid-Atlantic Ridge upwards, breaking the surface.


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