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ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING 

The Galapagos Archipelago consists of a cluster of islands; thirteen islands (bigger than 10 km2), six islets and over forty rocks (many of them have oficial names).

The Archipielago is well isolated from other land masses (960 km from South America, 720 km from Cocos Island in Central America).

The total area of the Archipelago is 45.000 km2.

GEOLOGY

The Archipielago is located in the NASCAR Plate, close to the junction with the Cocos Plate. As a result of the spreading of the sea floor (the movement of 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 a year, which may not seem significant but would over a million years, amount to a slide of 70 km. the evidence that the plate on which the islands sit is moving eastward is that the oldest islands are located in the eastern part of the archipielago. All the volcanic activity that has occurred recently is located on the Western Islands. The Hotspot Theory states that in certain places around the earth, there are stationary areas where there is intense heat in the mantle. These hotspots cause the crust to melt in certain places and give rise to volcanoes.

The Galapagos volcanoes tend to have a smooth crust with rounded tops, rather than cones like Mt. Fuji in Japan, which was formed by explosive eruptions

GEOLOGY

The Archipielago is located in the NASCAR Plate, close to the junction with the Cocos Plate. As a result of the spreading of the sea floor (the movement of 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 a year, which may not seem significant but would over a million years, amount to a slide of 70 km. the evidence that the plate on which the islands sit is moving eastward is that the oldest islands are located in the eastern part of the archipielago. All the volcanic activity that has occurred recently is located on the Western Islands. The Hotspot Theory states that in certain places around the earth, there are stationary areas where there is intense heat in the mantle. These hotspots cause the crust to melt in certain places and give rise to volcanoes.

The Galapagos volcanoes tend to have a smooth crust with rounded tops, rather than cones like Mt. Fuji in Japan, which was formed by explosive eruptions