Geology of Galapagos Islands

How did the Galapagos Islands get there?

Your Answer

The Galapagos originated with the activity of a hot spot (volcanic activity), which turned this place into one of the most amazing locations on Earth.

The Galapagos Islands are quite young, around five million years old. Some of the Islands located West are the ones that have the most volcanic activity and are also the youngest ones with a few hundreds of thousands of years old.

These Islands follow a chain pattern where the older Islands are found in the East, while the younger Islands are found in the West.

Hot Spots are responsible for the formation of Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, and other Island chains.

This Hot Spot is currently located beneath the northwestern region of the Galapagos Archipelago near Fernandina and Isabela Island.

Since the Galapagos Islands are moving with the Nazca plate and the hot spot remains stationary, the Islands form and slowly drift away from the hot spot, at about 5 cm per year, allowing more volcanoes and Islands to be formed.

Also the Galapagos Islands move with the Nazca Plate in an east-southeast direction so the older Islands are found in the southeast.

The Hot Spot Theory is one way of explaining, not only why change rules in oceanic Islands, but also how wildlife has adapted to the different Islands that make up this ever-changing land.

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