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Original Article

Volcanic features within Katla UNESCO Global Geopark



Katla UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the most active volcanic areas in Iceland where the Eastern Volcanic Zone and the Iceland Mantle Plume control the activity. The interaction of ice and fire has dominated the eruption styles and formations from the central volcanoes while large fissure eruptions have occurred on the fissure swarms of the systems, often forming vast lava fields that stretch from the highlands to the ocean. Eruptions have formed and molded the landscape of the geopark, and among the most remarkable features are the central volcano of Katla, Eldgjá fissure eruption and the rootless cone fields of Álftaver and Landbrot, Eyjafjallajökull central volcano, Lakagígar crater row and Eldhraun lava field, and the hyaloclastite ridges of Kattarhryggir, Grænifjallgarður and Fögrufjöll. Each of these sites is a geosite in the geopark and represents different volcanic geoforms and specific geological features characteristic of specific volcanic processes. One of the fundamental roles of the geopark has been to inform people about the geology and formation history of these sites so they can better understand and appreciate these sites. The geosites have become popular tourist sites which are protected due to their uniqueness and value for research and preservation.

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