Iceland lies precariously atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in an area of active volcanism. The island was formed by numerous volcanoes, many of which are still active. About one-fifth of Iceland's area is cultivable, but only about 1.1% is actually cultivated. Woods, mainly birch, exist in a few places, along with some stunted willows. The rest of the country is barren, denuded mountains and deserts. Ice fields cover some 12% of the land, and lava beds another 11%. Vatnajokull (Vatna Glacier), in the southeast, is the largest ice field. On its southern edge is Hvannadalshnukur (2,119 m), the highest point in the country. The Satellight database only covers the southeast part of Iceland.
Although the interior of Iceland is quite cold, the perimeter experiences an even, mild temperature, averaging -1°C in January and 11°C in July. Rainfall, however, varies widely--1,270-2,030 mm annually on the south coast; 380-500 mm on the north; and more than 3,810 mm in the mountainous central areas.
Total population is 270,292 (World Factbook, July 1996 est.). More than half the population lives in the Greater Reykjavik area. The second and third largest cities, Kopavogur (1995 est. pop., 17,660) and Hafnarfjordhur (1995 est. pop., 17,538) are both part of Reykjavik's metropolitan area. Akureyri (1995 est. pop., 14,922) on the north coast is the only other sizable population center. However, these cities are not covered by the satellight database.
Stations from the IDMP Network measure both daylight and solar radiation.

Clock Time: GMT+0. No Summer time shift.

Icelandic National Committee of the CIE
Post Box 5414
IS-125 Reykjavik
Tel: +354 525 4638, +354 565 1313
Fax: +354 525 4632 , +354 565 3313
CIE on the Internet.


More information is available at Amadeus or the Electric Library

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