© 2017

The Glorious Geology of Iceland's Golden Circle


  • Contains numerous photographs showing geological features of the route

  • Easy to understand explanations of the geological processes that formed the landscape

  • Includes additional geological excursion guides beside the Golden Circle


Part of the GeoGuide book series (GEO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 1-10
  3. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 11-20
  4. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 21-28
  5. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 29-47
  6. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 49-70
  7. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 71-91
  8. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 93-103
  9. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 105-112
  10. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 113-127
  11. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 129-131
  12. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 133-171
  13. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 173-199
  14. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 201-260
  15. Agust Gudmundsson
    Pages 261-305
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 307-334

About this book


This is the first book describing the glorious geology of Iceland’s Golden Circle and four additional excursions:(1) the beautiful valleys and mountains of the fjord of Hvalfjördur, (2) the unique landscape and geothermal fields of the Hengill Volcano, (3) the explosion craters, volcanic fissures, and lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, and (4) the volcanoes (Hekla, Eyjafjallajökull, Katla), waterfalls, sandur plains, and rock columns of South Iceland. The Golden Circle offers a unique opportunity to observe and understand many of our planet’s forces in action. These forces move the Earth’s tectonic plates, rupture the crust, and generate earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, channels for rivers and waterfalls, and heat sources for hot springs and geysers. The Golden Circle includes the famous rifting and earthquake fracture sites at Thingvellir, the hot springs of the Geysir area, the waterfall of Gullfoss, and the Kerid volcanic crater. As the book is primarily intended for people with no background in geosciences, no geological knowledge is assumed and technical terms are avoided as far as possible (those used are explained in a glossary). With more than 240 illustrations – mostly photographs – explaining geological structures and processes, it is also a useful resource for geoscientists. 


Reykjanes Peninsula Geysir Gullfoss Iceland Geology Gullni hringurinn

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of London Royal HollowayEghamUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Agust Gudmundsson was a volcanologist at the Nordic Volcanological Institute, University of Iceland, for many years, before being appointed to the Chair of Hydrogeology of Solid Rocks at the University of Bergen (Norway) and subsequently the Chair of Structural Geology and Geodynamics at the University of Göttingen (Germany). A leading volcanologist and structural geologist, as well as being editor of many earth-science journals and a member of the European Academy (Academia Europaea), Gudmundsson holds a University of London Chair of Structural Geology at Royal Holloway (United Kingdom). Gudmundsson has been a guide on many geological excursions in Iceland, both for geoscientists as well as for general visitors, including all those described in the book.

Bibliographic information


“This travel guide in Springer’s ‘GeoGuide’ series is an excellent companion for exploring Iceland’s iconic geological features, all accessible within a day’s drive of the capital, Reykjavik. Its compact size, water and dirt resistant cover, and sturdy binding are all designed for rigorous outdoor use. … The book is profusely illustrated with maps, diagrams, and an abundance of color photographs of geological features. … Highly recommended. All readers.” (W. L. Cressler III, Choice, Vol. 55 (12), August, 2018)