Cool School Comic Clip: Iceland and Plate Tectonics

Image of the Earth and the tectonic plates
At some point, I will figure out how to change the image up there… Iceland

When I teach about plate tectonics, Iceland is one of the first places that comes to mind. This little island is the perfect setting for multiple topics pertaining to plate tectonics- volcanoes, earthquakes, geysers, rift valleys, plate boundaries, hot springs, and more. This little clip only scratches the surface of how amazing Iceland is.


The Earth’s crust (aka the lithosphere) is made up of giant chunks of land called tectonic plates. These tectonic plates are always shifting and moving and changing the way the Earth’s surface appears.

Three of these plates create the largest mountain chain in the world, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Nestled in the northern region of this amazing landform is a unique little island called Iceland. 

Image of the Earth and the tectonic plates
Image of Iceland and tectonic plates
Image of example rock formation in Iceland
Image of example rock formation in Iceland

Landforms and Plate Movement

Iceland is full of geysers, more waterfalls than they can name, glaciers, over thirty volcanoes, pure clean water, and really cool rock formations. This awesome little island sits at the boundary of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. 

Now, these are divergent plate boundaries which means they are spreading apart at a very slow pace. The country of Iceland is literally being ripped apart at a rate of 2 centimeters per year. 

Snorkeler doodle
Iceland snorkeler doodle

While this certainly results in some pretty stellar hiking opportunities, it also makes it the only place in the world where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates. 

Iceland is awesome.

If you would like to learn more about Iceland and tectonic plates, check out my plate tectonics comics.

I will continue to add comics pertaining to this topic. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay up-to-date.

Snorkeling in Iceland image
Snorkeling in through a ridge in Iceland

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