Thursday, April 28, 2016

Iceland: A Canadian is Impressed by Geothermal Energy on a Trip Around the Island Nation

Brave, Beautiful, Renewable: Exploring Geothermal Energy in Iceland (DeSmog Canada)

Steam rises from the Hellisheidi station in Iceland, the world's 
largest geothermal power plant. Photo: Carol Linnitt.
A drive along Iceland’s ‘ring road,’ a winding narrow highway that encircles the isolated island’s 1,332 kilometre circumference, will take you from the sublime to the beautifully desolate in quick succession as views of snow spotted mountains give way lava fields, relatively young in geologic time at 800 years, covered in the country’s signature muted green moss.

But perhaps no natural feature is so stunningly otherworldly than Iceland’s geothermal activity.

The remote island is the outcome of upwelling forces, emerging in the volcanic seam between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The result is a remarkably active geologic landscape, one pitted with boiling mud pots, meandering hot rivers and steaming caverns that open up out of a serene landscape like gaping mouths of Hades.

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