Galapagos Islands

History, Environment and Description:
Located in one of the most active volcanic regions on earth, the Galapagos are
located on the Nazca Plate, close to its junction with the Cocos Plate.
As are of the spreading of the sea floor (the movement of the
plates in relation to each other) along the Galapagos Rift and the
East Pacific Rise, the islands are moving south and eastward at a
rate of more than 7 cm/yr., which may not seem fast but would,
over a million years or so, amount to 70 km of movement!
The evidence that the plate on which the islands sit is moving
eastward is that the oldest islands are in the eastern part of the
There is also volcanic activity where the western island is now.
In fact, it is on these Western Islands where all the recent
volcanic activity has occurred, while the Eastern Islands are the
oldest. The “Hot Spot Theory” states that in certain places
around the earth, there are more or less stationary areas of
These hot spots cause the crust to melt in certain places and give rise to volcanoes.
The Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands have mild volcanic eruptions
where volcanic material comes out gently to form large lava flows
The result is that the major Galapagos volcanoes tend to have
smooth shield. Which were formed by explosive eruptions.
The Galapagos archipelago consists of thirteen major islands, six
minor islands and 40 some smaller rock formations and reefs spread
out over 17,000 square miles of ocean.
This cluster of Islands located on the equator are situated 600
miles off the coast of Ecuador. From the time theyfirst broke
through the ocean floor, some 7-9 million years ago, the
Galapagos have remained a very active site of volcanic activity.
The Average Temperature in August are 70*F and in September to


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