Mid-Oceanic Ridge Vs Iceland

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Key Question The key question for this research project is: what is the relationship of earthquakes and volcanoes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge compared to Iceland?

Introduction Iceland is located over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate, and is an example of a mid ocean ridge seen on land. Iceland has divergent and transform plate boundaries, which are also seen along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The North American plate, with respect to the Eurasian Plate, is moving west-southwest at 2.3 centimeters per year. These two plates represent divergent plate tectonics. The plates move away from each other and magma rises up from the mantle and hardens into solidified rock. Oceanic basaltic crust is found
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However, Iceland is different geologically than the oceanic floor along most of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, so the activity may be significantly different between the two areas of the Ridge.

Methods The Volcano Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA) database was used to gather data on volcanic eruption histories along the the North American-Eurasian plate boundary. This database is maintained by several international institutions and is endorsed by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI). We chose the VOGRIPA database because it includes data on bulk deposit volume from each eruption, giving us a quantifiable way to define eruption magnitudes. The earthquake catalog from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program was used to gather data on earthquake activity including depth, magnitude, date and location.
Earthquake and volcano data were entered into Microsoft Excel for analysis. We created earthquake cross sections at two points along the ridge showing longitude vs. depth and earthquake and volcano activity plots using latitude vs. number of events. Eruption frequencies were calculated based on bulk deposit volume and using the equation:
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The Icelandic area of the ridge has 31 active volcanos distributed roughly uniformly along the ridge and 572 earthquakes, most of which are clustered in middle Iceland around the volcanos Bardarbunga and Loki-Fogrufjoll. The area of the mid ocean ridge between latitudes 57.7 and 54.4 shows no active volcanos and 324 earthquakes with even spatial distribution. At the south end of the plate boundary, the Azores archipelagos show 14 active volcanos and 237 earthquakes distributed along the three-plate junction, with some spatial clustering of earthquakes to the southeast.
The graph (Figure 2) of Mid-Atlantic Ridge volcanic activity shows the number of volcanic eruptions in recorded history along the latitudes of the ridge. The portion highlighted in blue represents where the ridge runs through Iceland, and also happens to have by far the greatest amount of volcanic activity along the entire ridge. There is also a smaller peak of activity along the Azores Islands and the rest of the ridge has virtually no record of volcanic

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