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Added in: march 2013
Last Modified in: march 2013
Geology site description:
In the north of Iceland the volcanic mesa Herðubreið is located, which is 1682 meters high. Volcanic table mountains can form the following way: Lava, which is emitted within an ice sheet or large quantities of (melt)water cools rapidly and forms pillow lava. Another part of the hot lava breaks open and forms a brown rock (Palagoniet) that fills the space between the pillow lava. When the pressure of the ice or water then declines there will follow ash explosions. These ash explosions continue until the volcanic cone is above the waterlevel. Than thin lava flows from the crater. When this lava comes in contact with water, it creates again Palagoniet.
The rest is simple: the more lava, the larger the diameter of the volcano. The pressure of the ice sheet around the volcano causes the nearly vertically standing slopes of the volcano. When the ice melts after an ice age, there is a volcano in the shape of a mesa. The height of the table mountain indicates the thickness of the original ice sheet.
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The Herðubreið table Mountain is located north of the Askja volcano in northeastern Iceland. This area is accessed by going south along the road F88 from the lake Mývatn area.Drag the map and zoom in or out for the best view of this geology site.
There are 1 photographs of geological phenomenon in our Geology Photo page.
Examples from the Geology Photo page:
Other locations in the area
Geology location: Askja
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Thanks to Adri Delcour for her input for this page.
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