Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 348,580 and an area of 103,000 km2, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country being home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is geologically active; the interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields and glaciers, many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle, its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate. According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, emigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls of Gaelic origin.
The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century; the establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway's integration into that union, coming under Danish rule after Sweden's secession from the union in 1523. Although the Danish kingdom introduced Lutheranism forcefully in 1550, Iceland remained a distant semi-colonial territory in which Danish institutions and infrastructures were conspicuous by their absence. In the wake of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Iceland's struggle for independence took form and culminated in independence in 1918 and the founding of a republic in 1944; until the 20th century, Iceland relied on subsistence fishing and agriculture. Industrialisation of the fisheries and Marshall Plan aid following World War II brought prosperity and Iceland became one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world.
In 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance and manufacturing. Iceland has a market economy with low taxes, compared to other OECD countries, it maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. Iceland ranks high in economic, social stability, equality ranking first in the world by median wealth per adult. In 2018, it was ranked as the sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, it ranks first on the Global Peace Index. Iceland runs completely on renewable energy. Hit hard by the worldwide financial crisis, the nation's entire banking system systemically failed in October 2008, leading to a severe depression, substantial political unrest, the Icesave dispute, the institution of capital controls; some bankers were jailed. Since the economy has made a significant recovery, in large part due to a surge in tourism.
A law that took effect in 2018 makes it illegal in Iceland for women to be paid less than men. Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Scandinavian heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old West Norse and is related to Faroese and West Norwegian dialects; the country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic literature, medieval sagas. Iceland has the smallest population of any NATO member and is the only one with no standing army, with a armed coast guard; the Sagas of Icelanders say that a Norwegian named Naddodd was the first Norseman to reach Iceland, in the 9th century he named it Snæland or "snow land" because it was snowing. Following Naddodd, the Swede Garðar Svavarsson arrived, so the island was called Garðarshólmur which means "Garðar's Isle". Came a Viking named Flóki Vilgerðarson; the sagas say that the rather despondent Flóki climbed a mountain and saw a fjord full of icebergs, which led him to give the island its new and present name.
The notion that Iceland's Viking settlers chose that name to discourage oversettlement of their verdant isle is a myth. According to both Landnámabók and Íslendingabók, monks known as the Papar lived in Iceland before Scandinavian settlers arrived members of a Hiberno-Scottish mission. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed the ruins of a cabin in Hafnir on the Reykjanes peninsula. Carbon dating indicates that it was abandoned sometime between 770 and 880. In 2016, archeologists uncovered a longhouse in Stöðvarfjörður, dated to as early as 800. Swedish Viking explorer Garðar Svavarsson was the first to circumnavigate Iceland in 870 and establish that it was an island, he built a house in Húsavík. Garðar departed the following summer but one of his men, Náttfari, decided to stay behind with two slaves. Náttfari settled in what is now known as Náttfaravík and he and his slaves became the first permanent residents of Iceland; the Norwegian-Norse chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson built his homestead in present-day Reykjavík in 874.
Ingólfr was followed by many other emigrant settlers Scandinavians and their thralls, many of whom were Irish or Scottish. By 930, most arable land on the island had been claimed. Lack of arable land al
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland in Harju County. From the 13th century until 1918, the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 and has a population of 440,776. Tallinn, first mentioned in 1219, received city rights in 1248, but the earliest human settlements date back 5,000 years; the initial claim over the land was laid by the Danes in 1219, after a successful raid of Lindanise led by Valdemar II of Denmark, followed by a period of alternating Scandinavian and German rule. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League. Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn is the major political, financial and educational center of Estonia. Dubbed the Silicon Valley of Europe, it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe and is a birthplace of many international companies, including Skype.
The city is to house the headquarters of the European Union's IT agency. Providing to the global cybersecurity it is the home to the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, it has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. According to the Global Financial Centres Index Tallinn is the most competitive financial center in Northern Europe and ranks 52nd internationally; the city was a European Capital of Culture for 2011, along with Turku in Finland. In 1154, a town called قلون was put on the world map of the Almoravid by the Arab cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, who described it as "a small town like a large castle" among the towns of'Astlanda', it was suggested. The earliest names of Tallinn include Kolyvan, known from East Slavic chronicles and which may have come from the Estonian mythical hero Kalev. However, modern historians consider connecting al-Idrisi placename with Tallinn unfounded and erroneous. Up to the 13th century, the Scandinavians and Henry of Livonia in his chronicle called the town Lindanisa.
This name may have been derived from Linda, the mythical wife of Kalev and the mother of Kalevipoeg, who in an Estonian legend carried rocks to her husband's grave, which formed the Toompea hill. It has been suggested that the archaic Estonian word linda is similar to the Votic word lidna'castle, town'. According to this suggestion, nisa would have the same meaning as niemi'peninsula', producing Kesoniemi, the old Finnish name for the city. Another ancient historical name for Tallinn is Rääveli in Finnish; the Icelandic Njal's saga mentions Tallinn and calls it Rafala, based on the primitive form of Revala. This name originated from the adjacent ancient name of the surrounding area. After the Danish conquest in 1219, the town became known in the German and Danish languages as Reval. Reval was in use until 1918; the name Tallinn is Estonian. It is thought to be derived from Taani-linn, after the Danes built the castle in place of the Estonian stronghold at Lindanisse. However, it could have come from tali-linna, or talu-linna.
The element -linna, like Germanic -burg and Slavic -grad / -gorod meant'fortress', but is used as a suffix in the formation of town names. The previously-used official names in German Reval and Russian Revel were replaced after Estonia became independent in 1918. At first, both forms Tallinn were used; the United States Board on Geographic Names adopted the form Tallinn between June 1923 and June 1927. Tallinna in Estonian denotes the genitive case of the name, as in Tallinna Reisisadam. In Russian, the spelling of the name was changed from Таллинн to Таллин by the Soviet authorities in the 1950s, this spelling is still sanctioned by the Russian government, while Estonian authorities have been using the spelling Таллинн in Russian-language publications since the restoration of independence; the form Таллин is used in several other languages in some of the countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union. Due to the Russian spelling, the form Tallin is sometimes found in international publications.
Other variations of modern spellings include Tallinna in Finnish, Tallina in Latvian and Talinas in Lithuanian. The first traces of human settlement found in Tallinn's city center by archeologists are about 5,000 years old; the comb ceramic pottery found on the site dates to about 3000 BCE and corded ware pottery c. 2500 BCE. Around 1050, the first fortress was built on Tallinn Toompea; as an important port for trade between Russia and Scandinavia, it became a target for the expansion of the Teutonic Knights and the Kingdom of Denmark during the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century when Christianity was forcibly imposed on the local population. Danish rule of Tallinn and Northern Estonia started in 1219. In 1285, the city known as Reval, became the northern most member of the Hanseatic League – a mercantile and military alliance of German-dominated cities in Northern Europe; the Danes sold Reval along with their other land possessions in northe
Laki or Lakagígar is a volcanic fissure in the south of Iceland, not far from the volcanic fissure of Eldgjá and the small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The fissure is properly referred to as Lakagígar. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the volcano Grímsvötn and including the volcano Thordarhyrna, it lies between the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, in an area of fissures that run in a southwest to northeast direction. The system erupted violently over an eight-month period between June 1783 and February 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grímsvötn, pouring out an estimated 42 billion tons or 14 km3 of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that contaminated the soil, leading to the death of over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, the destruction of the vast majority of all crops; this led to a famine which killed 25% of the island's human population. The lava flows destroyed 20 villages; the Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere.
This may have caused droughts in North Africa and India. On 8 June 1783, a 25 km long fissure with 130 craters opened with phreatomagmatic explosions because of the groundwater interacting with the rising basalt magma. Over a few days the eruptions became less explosive and Hawaiian in character, with high rates of lava effusion; this event is rated as 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, but the eight-month emission of sulfuric aerosols resulted in one of the most important climatic and repercussive events of the last millennium. The eruption known as the Skaftáreldar or Síðueldur was a VEI 6, produced an estimated 14 km3 of basalt lava, the total volume of tephra emitted was 0.91 km3. Lava fountains were estimated to have reached heights of 800 to 1,400 m; the gases were carried by the convective eruption column to altitudes of about 15 km. The eruption continued until 7 February 1784, but most of the lava was ejected in the first five months. Grímsvötn volcano, from which the Laki fissure extends, was erupting at the time, from 1783 until 1785.
The outpouring of gases, including an estimated 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride and an estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide, gave rise to what has since become known as the "Laki haze" across Europe. The consequences for Iceland, known as the Móðuharðindin or "Mist Hardships", were disastrous. An estimated 20–25% of the population died in the famine and fluoride poisoning after the fissure eruptions ensued. Around 80% of sheep, 50% of cattle and 50% of horses died because of dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis from the 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride that were released; the parish priest and dean of Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla, Jón Steingrímsson, grew famous because of the eldmessa that he delivered on 20 July 1783. The people of the small settlement of Kirkjubæjarklaustur were worshipping while the village was endangered by a lava stream, which ceased to flow not far from town, with the townsfolk still in church; this past week, the two prior to it, more poison fell from the sky than words can describe: ash, volcanic hairs, rain full of sulfur and saltpeter, all of it mixed with sand.
The snouts and feet of livestock grazing or walking on the grass turned bright yellow and raw. All water went light blue in color and gravel slides turned grey. All the earth's plants burned and turned grey, one after another, as the fire increased and neared the settlements. There is evidence that the Laki eruption weakened African and Indian monsoon circulations, leading to between 1 and 3 millimetres less daily precipitation than normal over the Sahel of Africa, resulting in, among other effects, low flow in the River Nile; the resulting famine that afflicted Egypt in 1784 cost it one-sixth of its population. The eruption was found to have affected the southern Arabian Peninsula and India. An estimated 120,000,000 long tons of sulfur dioxide was emitted, about three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, equivalent to six times the total 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption; this outpouring of sulfur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout the remainder of 1783 and the winter of 1784.
The summer of 1783 was the hottest on record and a rare high-pressure zone over Iceland caused the winds to blow to the south-east. The poisonous cloud drifted to Bergen in Denmark–Norway spread to Prague in the Kingdom of Bohemia by 17 June, Berlin by 18 June, Paris by 20 June, Le Havre by 22 June, Great Britain by 23 June; the fog was so thick that boats stayed in port, unable to navigate, the sun was described as "blood coloured". Inhaling sulfur dioxide gas causes victims to choke as their internal soft tissue swells – the gas reacts with the moisture in lungs and produces sulfurous acid; the local death rate in Chartres was up by 5 % during September, with more than 40 dead. In Great Britain, the records show, it has been estimated. The weather became hot, causing severe thunderstorms with large hailstones that were report
Hyaloclastite is a volcaniclastic accumulation or breccia consisting of glass fragments formed by quench fragmentation of lava flow surfaces during submarine or subglacial extrusion. It occurs as thin margins on the lava flow surfaces and between pillow lavas as well as in thicker deposits, more associated with explosive, volatile-rich eruptions as well as steeper topography. Hyaloclastites form during volcanic eruptions under water, under ice or where subaerial flows reach the sea or other bodies of water, it has the appearance of angular flat fragments sized between a millimeter to few centimeters. The fragmentation occurs by the force of the volcanic explosion, or by thermal shock and spallation during rapid cooling. Several minerals are found in hyaloclastite masses. Sideromelane is a basalt glass quenched in water, it is transparent and pure, lacking the iron oxide crystals dispersed in the more occurring tachylite. Fragments of these glasses are surrounded by a yellow waxy layer of palagonite, formed by reaction of sideromelane with water.
Hyaloclastite ridges, formed by subglacial eruptions during the last glacial period, are a prominent landscape feature of Iceland and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Hyaloclastite is found at subglacial volcanoes, such as tuyas, a type of distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet. In lava deltas, hyaloclastites form the main constituent of foresets formed ahead of the expanding delta; the foresets fill in the seabed topography building up to sea level, allowing the subaerial flow to move forwards until it reaches the sea again. Volcanoes of Canada: Types of volcanoes Accessed Jan. 8, 2006