Iceland is a unique geologic feature of the planet, being the visible (above water) portion of the great mid-atlantic rift which separated the North American from the European continents, forming the Atlantic Ocean, millions of years ago, and it is still active. Current measurements show the two continents continuing to separate (the Atlantic Ocean thus widening) at the rate of about 10 mm. per year. The visible rift in this image is part of that process, with the two sides also separating at that same rate. This is the site of the original Icelandic Assemblies, the Althingi, in the 10th through 12th centuries A.D. where laws were debated and established and disputes settled by courts of law. Orators could stand in front of the lava walls and have their voices reflected and thus amplified over the assembled crowds, which came from all over the island continent. These Viking settlers were probably well aware of the historic significance of their process, but surely had no idea of its geologic significance!