Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Dodge

Subject: Iceland: Living IN a Plate Tectonic Boundary


The country of Iceland lies within the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, on the plate tectonic boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate.  It also lies atop a mantle plume.  The extra uplift provided by the mantle plume raises the mid-ocean ridge to form Iceland – the only place on Earth where the mid-ocean ridge rises above sea level.  The entire range of sea-floor spreading phenomena are visible and accessible.  These phenomena include volcanoes, rifts, earthquakes, and geothermal activity.  Icelandic culture has been profoundly influenced by its proximity to rifting.  The speaker spent 10 days in the summer of 2017 on a field course in Iceland, investigating geology and resources.   Further research has provided more insights into the geological, cultural, and economic impacts of active extensional tectonics in Iceland, including energy availability/resources and geotourism.  Join the trip and learn about living while surrounded by an active rift zone!


Dr. Dodge received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines; her research concerned geothermal exploration as well as the mapping and dating of active faults in northwestern Nevada.  Her early professional career with the U.S. Geological Survey continued this focus, and involved airborne and spaceborne photography and imagery.  She spent over a decade in the oil exploration business, applying remote sensing technology for both exploration and environmental purposes.  Since joining academia 21 years ago she has been researching and teaching the uses satellite imagery for resource and environmental management applications.  She currently teaches geology and environmental science at Midwestern State University.  In addition, she is deeply committed to training and educating future science teachers in geosciences, earth system science, and environmental observations techniques, with an emphasis on the integration of field observations and geospatial technology.