What an insightful question! Iceland is an
incredibly novel island—particularly for human
habitation. Despite being very far north (just
outside of the Arctic Circle), the climate is
moderated by the Gulf Stream (a steady current
of warm air and water that also gives England
its moderate temperatures), which has allowed
people to live there for two thousand years.
Have you ever heard of Vikings?
As you mentioned, the island is also
extremely geologically activity, a situation
that the residents of the island have been
taking advantage of since they settled there.
The hot springs, which are created by ground
water flowing near magma (underground lava), are
prevalent in Iceland, because of this geological
activity. The Vikings used these warm pools as
baths (like hot tubs!); people still use the
Viking baths today.
Icelanders have also found ways to take
advantage of the geological activity for energy
production. One-third of the country’s power
is “geothermal,” which means that they use the
Earth’s underground heat (often the hot water I
mentioned above) to warm homes and buildings
directly, or create electricity through steam-
power. Finally, Iceland’s lava flows, geysers,
hot springs, and volcanic landscape also help
the country’s economy by bringing tourists to
come and see all of the islands wonders.
Unfortunately, active volcanoes can also
create problems for the people of Iceland and
residents of neighboring countries. In the past
few years, volcanic eruptions have destroyed
local homes and sent plumes of ash into the air
that disrupted airplane travel all over Europe
and, as result, the world.
Maybe you will get to visit Iceland one day
and see all of these incredible things! But
watch your step, you don’t want to walk on any