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Southwest Iceland experiences earthquakes because it's located right on top of a conservative—or transform—plate boundary, where two tectonic plate move past each other side by side.

In this video, the Time for Geography team is in Iceland with tour guide Tony Escritt from Trex - Travel Experiences and tectonics expert Dr Rhian Meara to learn more about conservative plate boundaries and why they produce large earthquakes.


Written and developed by: Rhian Meara, Rich Waller, Rob Parker, Harriet Ridley, Tony Escritt, Tim Parker.

Videography by: Vratislav Karas, Rob Parker, Harriet Ridley.


Plate tectonics animation clips from Stern et al. (2017) are used in this video with permission from the author. For more information, see Robert Stern, Warren Lieu, Asya Mantey, Andrew Ward, Todd Fechter, Eric Farrar, Sean McComber, Jeffrey Windler: A new animation of subduction zone processes developed for the undergraduate and community college audience. Geosphere ; 13 (3): 628–643. doi:

Earthquake Inside House Sound Effect (4K Subscribers Special) by Chander Prakash is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

HayWired Scenario by USGS is in the public domain.

NASA Scientist Reveals Greenland's Geologic Past by NASA is in the public domain.

Plate Boundaries by Chris Merkert is licensed under CC BY 3.0.