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Added: 3-3-2008

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Category: Volcanism

This is the table mountain Herðubreið. It is located along the F88 from Myvatn down, north of the Askja volcano. Table Mountains form as follows: Lava, which is emitted in large quantities of ice (melt)water cools rapidly and forms pillow shaped lava. Another part of the hot lava explodes and forms a brown rock (palagonite) that fills the space between the pillow lava. When the pressure of the ice or water then declines, ash explosions will occur. This ash explosions continue until the volcanic cone emerges above the meltwater, then thin lava flows from the crater. When this lava comes in contact with water, it creates palagoniet again. The rest is simple: the more lava, the larger the diameter of the volcano. The mountain gets nearly vertically standing slopes because of the pressure of the ice around the volcano. When the ice melts after an ice age, a volcano in the shape of a table mountain remains. The height of the mountain indicates the thickness of the original glacier. A good example of a table mountain is this 1682 meter high "Herðubreið", in northeast Iceland.

Photographed in: Herðubreið, Iceland
Date: 2004

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By Adri (pearl)
Fossiel.net number: 503-0001

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