Go, go to Iceland to see “the most beautiful scar on earth”

 There is a famous Thingvellir National Park more than forty kilometers northeast of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. There are two world-famous landscapes: one is the site of the Icelandic parliament, and the other is the Great Rift Valley of Thingvellir National Park, known as “the most beautiful scar on the earth”. Its geological name is the Mid-Ocean Ridge Rift Valley. This rift valley is composed of countless criss-crossing small rift valleys, and when viewed from high above, it is like a “scar” on the earth. Many lakes and rivers have also formed in the rift valley. The water in these lakes and rivers is so clear that people can easily see hundreds of meters below the water surface with the naked eye.
  So, how did this “most beautiful scar on the earth” form? We must first understand what is going on in the mid-ocean ridge. The mid-ocean ridge has another name—Central Ridge, which sounds better to understand, referring to the mountains at the bottom of the ocean. If someone asks you, where is the longest mountain range on earth? You might answer that it is the Andes in South America, which has a total length of more than 8,900 kilometers. However, the total length of the central ridge at the bottom of the ocean has reached more than 80,000 kilometers. This central ridge winds across the ocean floor of the ocean, running through the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans, like a submarine dragon, guarding the ocean.
  In the 1870s, the British ocean exploration ship Challenger discovered a north-south mountain range at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Since then, from 1925 to 1927, the German marine exploration ship Meteor conducted a more detailed survey of the South Atlantic Ocean, using modern electronic technology to draw a topographic map of the central ridge that runs through the entire Atlantic Ocean. Next, some countries continued this research and found that the central ridge is a giant seamount system composed of interconnected seamounts. These mountains range in height from 2,000 to 3,000 kilometers, with widths ranging from thousands to hundreds of kilometers, covering an area of ​​120 million square kilometers, accounting for more than one-third of the ocean floor area.
  The reason for the formation of the central ridge is still inconclusive. However, geologists generally believe that the bottom of these submarine mountains is located at the growth boundary of the major geological plates and is the most frequent area of ​​submarine geological activities. There are continuous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some hot materials in the mantle continue to gush upwards. These hot materials rise into the sea and cool down to form ridges. However, these newly formed submarine mountains are very unstable, and violent geological movements are still taking place. The most prominent feature is the criss-cross rifts on the ridges.
  As the name suggests, the central ridge is of course on the bottom of the sea, but there are exceptions. Due to topographical reasons, this mountain range that was supposed to be at the bottom of the ocean will also extend above sea level, forming some islands, such as Iceland. What fascinates geologists even more is that the Great Rift Valley of Thingvellir National Park happens to be at the junction of the Eurasian plate and the North American plate, so the geological activities here and the geological remains of various periods are more abundant. . When people look at this large rift valley that separates the Eurasian plate from the North American plate, watching those cracks that vary in size or horizontally, they have to sigh for the extraordinary craftsmanship of nature.
  The Great Rift Valley of Thingvellir National Park also has important economic value and scientific research value. For example, the water of some rivers on the rift valley is filtered by various rock formations to be extremely clear and rich in various trace elements. It is an excellent raw material for making various beverages. There is also Iceland’s largest freshwater lake, Thingvellir Lake, on this Great Rift Valley. This lake looks calm and calm, like a huge mirror, but the bottom of the lake is full of faults, fissures, and hot springs. Of course, because this Great Rift Valley is still active, the people of Iceland have access to inexhaustible hot springs and geothermal resources.
  One day, when we come to “the most beautiful scar on the earth”, we will not only feel the earth’s wildness and fierceness, but also sigh the beauty and softness of nature. The two seemingly out-of-bound concepts of “the most beautiful” and “scar” are thus blended together by the mighty power of nature.