Þingvellir - The Mid-Atlantic Ridge
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Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park is a place of historical,cultural and geological importance.
The area is open for public and near the listed coordinates there is a parking lot and a Visitor center with free admission,- the great viewspot of this cache is named Hakið.
This earthcache will focus on the geological aspect of Þingvellir, which is the most famous location to experience the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The earth consist of several major tectonic plates; African, Antarctic, Indo-Australian, Eurasian, North American, South American and the Pacific plate - plus some minor plates.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the splitting between the North American and the Eurasian plates.
The plate tectonics theory describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere, which is broken up into the so called tectonic plates. Convection currents beneath the plates move the plates in different directions from the heat deep in the earth.
This theory was put forward by the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener, who wrote the book "The Origin of Continents and Oceans" in 1915. He recognized the continental drift and saw how the east coast of South America and the Caribbean Sea perfectly fits the west coast of Africa,- like a jigsaw puzzle. He also described that all of the continents originally came from one enourmous single land mass, that he named Pangaea (from greek meaning 'Earth') surrounded by the Panthalassa ocean (from greek meaning 'All Sea').
In the 1960's scientists made deep ocean studies and discovered that the earthquakes seems to occour along the lines of the plates and so the plate tectonics theory was developed.
The location where two plates meet is called a plate boundary and here the plates will collide, move apart or slide past each other, creating mountains, volcanoes, rift valleys, ocean trenches and phenomenas as earthquakes and volcanic activity.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a Divergent boundary and as the two plates are slowly moving apart Iceland will sometime in the future break into two seperate land masses with the Atlantic Ocean between.
IN ORDER TO LOG THIS CACHE YOU MUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.
AND IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU TOOK A PICTURE AT THE COORDINATES (only optional, but could be used if your answers are wrong)
What is the name of the two other major types of boundaries?
What is the average movement of the plates pr. year here on Iceland?
Go to the listed coordinates.
Here you can see large cracks in the ground from the boundary.
Are the cracks at this point going north-south or east-west?
Somewhere at this location there is a plaque confirming that Þingvellir has been inscribed upon the World Heritage List for its cultural and historical significance and its remarkable geology on the boundary of the Earasian and North American tectonic plates, by UNESCO.
What is the date (day, month and year) on the plate?
Email us the answers,- please do not post them with your log.
You do not have to wait for our response to log the cache on geocaching.com. If the answers are wrong, we will contact you.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE BEEN AT THE LOCATION AFTER THE RELEASE DATE OF THIS CACHE
- OLD HOLIDAY VISITS DO NOT COUNT AND ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Read more about the historic, culture and nature aspects of Þingvellir at many of the information board around the area.
And PLEASE.. do take a long walk around the area. It is very beautiful and interesting here.
Here is a link
to the official Þingvellir site
CLICK on the pictures below for a large image
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum