Scientists are mapping the southern part of Reykjanes Ridge—the longest rift axis in the world—using a multi-beam echo sound measurement technique for the first time, thereby completing the mapping of the Reykjanes Ridge from the Icelandic continental shelf base to the Bight transform plate boundary.
Reykjanes lava field. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The scientists set off on the vessel Marcus G. Langseth on August 13 to look at volcanic remnants and distribution in the active volcanic areas of the ridge, which stretches 900 km (500 miles) south from Iceland.
The connection of the ridge to numerous transform plate boundaries will also be explored to establish why the rift axis has caused some of them to be inactive, while others remain active, as stated on the website of the University of Iceland.
The expedition’s directors are Fernando Martinez from the Marine Research Institute at the University of Hawaii and Ármann Höskuldsson from the Institute of Earth Sciences, the University of Iceland. Sigvaldi Þórðarson from ÍSOR – Iceland Geosurvey and students from Iceland and Hawaii are also taking part in the project.
The project received a grant for ISK 210 million (USD 1.7 million, EUR 1.2 million) from the US National Science Foundation to examine the link between transform plate boundary by the divergent boundary of Reykjanes Ridge.