Southern Peninsula (Iceland)

Southern Peninsula (Icelandic: Suðurnes) Reykjanesskagi (pronounced [ˈreiːcanɛsˌskaiːjɪ]) or Reykjanes Peninsula is a region in southwest Iceland. It was named after Reykjanes, the southwestern tip of Reykjanesskagi.[1]

The Suðurnes area
  Total829 km2 (320 sq mi)
  Density24.5/km2 (63/sq mi)

The region has a population of more than 25,000 (2018) and is one of the more densely populated parts of the island. The administrative centre is Keflavík, which had 7,000 residents when it merged with the nearby town of Njarðvík and Hafnir several years ago to create Reykjanesbær, which now (feb 2019) is the largest settlement outside the Greater Reykjavík area; on 1 January 2013 the town had a population of 14,231, but 17,805 in 2018.[2]

The region is the location of Keflavík International Airport, the major point of entry for Iceland, and also the Blue Lagoon health spa.[3]

The peninsula is marked by active volcanism under its surface, and large lava fields, allowing little vegetation. There are numerous hot springs and sulphur springs in the southern half of the peninsula, around the Kleifarvatn lake and the Krýsuvík geothermal area.[4]

There is also a geothermal power station at Svartsengi. Near the power station a luxury spa and pool area has been installed using the hot and mineralized water coming down from the power station; it is known as the "Blue Lagoon" (Bláa Lónið).[5]

The Bridge Between Continents spans the Álfagjá rift valley (60 feet wide and 20 feet (6.1 m) deep) near Grindavik, which marks the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. It was built in 2002 and previously named Leif the Lucky bridge in honor of Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson who traveled from Europe to America 500 years before Columbus.[6]

Some fishing towns, such as Grindavík, Njarðvík and Sandgerði are situated on the peninsula as well as the town of Keflavík, the site of Keflavík International Airport and the Leifur Eriksson Air Terminal and the former American military base.[7]

Volcanic system

Reykjanes (volcano)
The Reykjanes volcanic system is almost completely covered by Holocene-age lava fields.
Highest point
Elevation230 m (754 ft)
Coordinates63°52′12″N 22°33′30″W
LocationReykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Parent rangeMid-Atlantic Ridge
Mountain typeCrater rows
Last eruption1926

The Reykjanes Volcano is a large volcano covering the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level. The volcanic system consists of lava fields, postglacial basaltic crater rows, and small shield volcanoes. The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system is contiguous and is considered part of the Reykjanes volcanic system, which is the westernmost of a series of four closely spaced en-echelon fissure systems they extend across the Reykjanes Peninsula. The highest of the system's multiple vents is 230 metres (754 ft). Dredging operations resulted in recovery of basaltic rocks of probable Holocene age. Most of the subaerial part of the system is covered by Holocene-age lava fields. During the 13th century, subaerial eruptions occurred on the fissure system along the Reykjanes fissure system. Tephra deposits from Holocene eruptions have been preserved on the Reykjanes Peninsula.[8]

See also


  1. "Reykjanes Peninsula". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  2. "Information about Keflavík". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  3. "Keflavik International Airport". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  4. "Krysuvik geothermal area". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  5. "Svartsengi power plant". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  6. "Bridge Between Continents". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  7. "Leifur Eriksson Air Terminal". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  8. "Reykjanes volcano". Retrieved December 1, 2019.

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