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Silfra Fissure

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The famous site where it is possible to literally stand between two tectonic plates! Located in the turquoise Þingvallavatn Lake in the Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), Silfra is part of a rift in the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates.

The way fissures are created is quite simple: as the tectonic plates drift apart (roughly two centimeters per year), tension builds up between the earth mass and the two plates, occasionally provoking a major earthquake and fissuring the earth mass in the process. Depending on their altitude and location, fissures may end up being submerged. In Silfra’s case, its translucent waters travel all the way from Iceland’s second largest glacier, Lángjökull, arriving in Þingvellir after a 30 to 100 year ride through underground and porous lava rock. Consequently, Silfra’s water temperature rarely surpasses the 2°C – 4°C mark.