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Researchers at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />University of Iceland have discovered two rift zones on the Reykjanes ridge. Upon this discovery, they have uncovered a new type of volcano unlike any in the world. Interviewed by the national radio RÚV, geologist Ármann Höskuldsson claims that this is the most significant geological discovery in the last 40 years.
The University of Iceland and the University of Hawaii conducted a research expedition along the ridge, which is in the sea southwest of Iceland, in mid June in search for more answers about the ocean floor. The research ship, Knorr, was used for the expedition which took 32 days. The volcano has been named Njördur in honour of the ocean god of the old Norse mythology.
With this discovery, Höskuldsson says that it will be possible to trace the geological history 24 million years into the past. In addition, this finding will help geologists to understand how the hotspot under Iceland and the rift zone interact. Furthermore, he argues that the rift zones have been moving southwards and that movement will continue for the next millions of years.