The Galápagos Islands, part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle, his observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection. The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, the Galápagos Marine Reserve; the principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of over 25,000; the first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro.
De Berlanga returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them. The group of islands was shown and named in Abraham Ortelius's atlas published in 1570; the first crude map of the islands was made in 1684 by the buccaneer Ambrose Cowley, who named the individual islands after some of his fellow pirates or after British royalty and noblemen. These names were used in the authoritative navigation charts of the islands prepared during the Beagle survey under captain Robert FitzRoy, in Darwin's popular book The Voyage of the Beagle; the new Republic of Ecuador took the islands from Spanish ownership in 1832, subsequently gave them official Spanish names. The older names remained in use in English-language publications, including Herman Melville's The Encantadas of 1854. Volcanism has been continuous on the Galápagos Islands for at least 20 myr, even longer; the mantle plume beneath the east-ward moving Nazca Plate has given rise to a 3-kilometre-thick platform under the island chain and seamounts.
Besides the Galápagos Archipelago, other key tectonic features in the region include the Northern Galápagos Volcanic Province between the archipelago and the Galápagos Spreading Center 200 km to the north at the boundary of the Nazca Plate and the Cocos Plate. This spreading center truncates into the East Pacific Rise on the west and is bounded by the Cocos Ridge and Carnegie Ridge in the east. Furthermore, the Galápagos Hotspot is at the northern boundary of the Pacific Large Low Shear Velocity Province while the Easter Hotspot is on the southern boundary; the Galápagos Archipelago is characterized by numerous contemporaneous volcanoes, some with plume magma sources, others from the asthenosphere due to the young and thin oceanic crust. The GSC caused structural weaknesses in this thin lithosphere leading to eruptions forming the Galápagos Platform. Fernandina and Isabela in particular are aligned along these weaknesses. Lacking a well-defined rift zone, the islands have a high rate of inflation prior to eruption.
Sierra Negra on Isabela Island experienced a 240 cm uplift between 1992 and 1998, most recent eruption in 2005, while Fernandina on Fernandina Island indicated an uplift of 90 cm, most recent eruption in 2009. Alcedo on Isabela Island had an uplift of greater than 90 cm, most recent eruption in 1993. Additional characteristics of the Galápagos Archipelago are closer volcano spacing, smaller volcano sizes, larger calderas. For instance, Isabela Island includes 6 major volcanoes, Wolf, Alcedo, Sierra Negraa and Cerro Azul, with most recent eruptions ranging from 1813 to 2008; the neighboring islands of Santiago and Fernandina last erupted in 2009, respectively. Overall, the 9 active volcanoes in the archipelago have erupted 24 times between 1961 and 2011; the shape of these volcanoes is that of an "overturned soup bowl" as opposed to the "overturned saucer plate" of the Hawaiian Islands. The Galápagos's shape is due to the pattern of radial and circumferential fissure, radial on the flanks, but circumferential near the caldera summits.
It is the circumferential fissures. The volcanoes at the west end of the archipelago are in general, younger, have well developed calderas, are composed of tholeiitic basalt, while those on the east are shorter, lack calderas, have a more diverse composition; the ages of the islands, from west to east are 0.05 Ma for Fernandina, 0.65 Ma for Isabela, 1.10 Ma for Santiago, 1.7 Ma for Santa Cruz, 2.90 Ma for Santa Fe, 3.2 Ma for San Cristobal. The calderas on Sierra Negra and Alcedo have active fault systems; the Sierra Negra fault is associated with a sill 2 km below the caldera. The caldera on Fernandina experienced the largest basaltic volcano collapse in history, with the 1968 phreatomagmatic eruption. Fernandina has been the most active volcano since 1790, with recent eruptions in 1991, 1995, 2005, 2009, the entire surface has been covered in numerous flows since 4.3 Ka. The western volcanoes have numerous tuff cones; the islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km off the west coast of South America.
The closest land mass is that of mainland Ecuador, the country to which they belong, 926 km to the east. The islands are found at the coordinates 1°40'N–1°36'S, 89°16'–92°01'W. Straddling the equator, islands in the chain are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, with Volcán Wolf and Volcán Ecuador on Isla Isabela being directly on the equator. Española Island, the southernmost islet of the archipelago, Darwin Island, the northernmost
Galápagos sea lion
The Galápagos sea lion is a species of sea lion that breeds on the Galápagos Islands and – in smaller numbers – on Isla de la Plata. Being social, one of the most numerous species in the Galápagos archipelago, they are spotted sun-bathing on sandy shores or rock groups or gliding gracefully through the surf, their loud bark, playful nature, graceful agility in water make them the "welcoming party" of the islands. They are the smallest sea lions; this species was first described by E. Sivertsen in 1953; this species has been considered a subspecies of Zalophus californianus by many authors. But recent genetic data supports the Z. wollebaeki to be a separate species. The species belongs to the family genus Zalophus. Smaller than their Californian relatives, Galápagos sea lions range from 150 to 250 cm in length and weigh between 50 to 250 kg, with the males averaging larger than females. Adult males tend to have a thicker, more robust neck and shoulders in comparison to their slender abdomen. Females are somewhat opposite males, with thick torso.
Once sexually mature, a male’s sagittal crest enlarges, forming a small, characteristic bump-like projection on their forehead. Galápagos sea lions, compared to California sea lions, have a smaller sagittal crest and a shorter muzzle. Adult females and juveniles lack this physical characteristic altogether with a nearly flat head and little or no forehead. Both male and female sea lions have a pointy, somewhat long, narrow muzzle; the young pups are dog-like in profile. Another characteristic that defines the sea lion are their external ear-like pinnae flaps which distinguish them from their close relative with which they are confused, the seal; the foreflippers have a short fur extending from the wrist to the middle of the dorsal fin surface, but other than that, the flippers are covered in black, leathery skin. Curving posteriorly, the first digit of the flipper is the largest, giving it a swept-back look. At the end of each digit is a claw reduced to a vestigial nodule that emerges above the skin.
Although somewhat clumsy on land with their flippers, sea lions are amazingly agile in water. With their streamlined bodies and flipper-like feet, they propel themselves through crashing surf and dangerously sharp coastal rocks, they have the ability to control their flippers independently and thus change directions with ease, they have more control over their body on land. When wet, sea lions are a shade of dark brown; the females tend to be the pups a chestnut brown. Born with a longer, brownish-black lanugo, a pup's coat fades to brown within the first five months of life. At this time, they undergo their first molt; the age of maturity for Galápagos sea lions is estimated at about 4–5 years. The life span of Galapagos sea lions is estimated to be at 15–24 years. Galápagos sea lions can be found on each of the islands of the Galápagos archipelago, they have colonized just offshore the mainland Ecuador at Isla de la Plata, can be spotted from the Ecuadorian coast north to Isla Gorgona in Colombia.
Records have been made of sightings on Isla del Coco, about 500 km southwest of Costa Rica. The population on Isla del Coco is thought to be a vagrant population, while the population in the Galápagos archipelago is considered native. Less than a quarter of them reside on the most tourist drawn San Cristabol Island. Feeding on sardines, Galápagos sea lions sometimes travel 10 to 15 kilometers from the coast over the span of days to hunt for their prey; this is. Injuries and scars from attacks are visible. During El Niño, when fish populations either die or migrate, sea lions dive down deeper into the ocean to feed on lantern fish. During el Niño events, occurs when the water temperature changes and causes climate change in the Pacific, more green-eyes and myctophids are consumed due to a decrease in sardine population. El Nino caused many population decreases by changing the sea lion's availability for food, causing these Galapagos sea lions to be listed as endangered. Successful cooperative hunting of yellowfin tuna, in which the fish were herded into a rocky inlet, was recorded in the BBC series Blue Planet II.
Galápagos sea lions are vulnerable to human activity. Their inquisitive and social nature makes them more to approach areas inhabited by humans, thus come into contact with human waste, fishing nets, hooks, they occupy many different shoreline types, from steep, rocky cliff sides to low-lying sandy beaches. To avoid overheating during the day, sea lions will take refuge from the sun under vegetation and cliffs. Not only are sea lions social, they are quite vocal. Adult males bark in long and distinctive repeated sequences. Females and juveniles do not produce this repetitive bark, but both sexes of younger pups will growl. From birth, a mother sea lion recognizes her pup’s distinct bark and can pinpoint it from a crowd of 30 or more barking sea lions; the Galapagos sea lion male has territorial males and non-territorial males. There are clear cut differences in behavior from territorial males and non-territorial males, the first being the territorial males vocalized at higher rates than non-territorial males and the onset of vocalization tends to be higher.
Vocalization is important to territorial males because it plays a key role in sexual selection and helps ward off intruding non territ
Puerto Ayora is a town in central Galápagos, Ecuador. Located on the southern shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is the seat of Santa Cruz Canton; the town is named in honor of an Ecuadorian president. The town is sometimes mistakenly referred to as Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora is the most populous town in the Galápagos Islands, with more than 12,000 inhabitants. Puerto Ayora has a protected location, along the shores of Academy Bay, where a refreshing breeze provides pleasant weather. Temperatures vary between 18 and 29 °C; the hot season runs from December to May. Puerto Ayora has the best developed infrastructure in the archipelago; the larger of the two Galápagos banks, Banco del Pacifico, is located in Puerto Ayora. The walkable downtown area of Puerto Ayora is a small strip of hotels, tour companies,gift shops, restaurants, clothing stores, marine stores, tourist shops and night clubs; the main Avenue is named Avenida Charles Darwin and begins on the main dock of Puerto Ayora and finishes at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
The Town Hall is on Avenida Charles Darwin as well. Puerto Ayora is the best place in Galápagos for communicating with the outside world via numerous cybercafes with Internet access or telephone offices. Puerto Ayora emergency medical facilities include a new hospital opened in 2006 and the island's only hyperbaric chamber. There is a Health Center in the northern part of Puerto Ayora as well. Most of the locals live in the northern part of the town where various schools, a market hall and a sports center where built. Most of the shops, hardware stores and grocery stores there can be found in Calle Baltra and Calle Durán; the stadium is in the northwest of the center close to the bus station. Fresh water is in this town. Locals practice water conservation and collect rainwater during the rainy season. There is a desalination plant on the island. Many facilities have separate water systems with varying degrees of use/quality. For example, water used for cleaning/showering may not be potable. Home to both the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galápagos National Park, Puerto Ayora is the center of the Galápagos conservation efforts.
Island visitors may visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn the history of the islands and future conservation plans. Iglesia de San Francisco is a modern church, built in 1968. Iglesia de Edén and Iglesia de la Calle E are modern churches in the northern part of Puerto Ayora with colourful wall paintings which are worth a visit as well. Tortuga Bay is a short walk from center of Puerto Ayora where you can view marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and a natural mangrove where you can spot white tip reef sharks and the gigantic galápagos tortoise; the Itabaca Channel is located between two islands in the Galápagos, Baltra Island known as South Seymour Island, Santa Cruz Island. The Itabaca Channel is used by water taxis. Academy Bay is a busy harbor full of boats cruising the islands, passing private yachts and local fishing boats; this bay is a good location to spot brown pelicans, golden rays, marine iguanas, lava gulls, frigate birds, Galápagos sea lions, large numbers of blue-footed boobies, which fish by spectacular plunge diving.
North Seymour Island is an hour away by boat and has a wide array of animals with no people living on the island. Flights from continental Ecuador fly into either San Cristobal or to Baltra Island just off the north end of Santa Cruz; those airlines are AeroGal, LAN Ecuador, & TAME. The typical means to reach Puerto Ayora from the Baltra airport is a bus ride to the Itabaca Channel where a ferry ride is taken to Santa Cruz Island. Another bus, courtesy vehicle or taxi is taken to Puerto Ayora. From the Puerto Ayora docks water taxis wait to take passengers to their boats or to west Puerto Ayora; the municipal bus station is in the northwest of the town. There are daily speed boats which take passengers to or from Puerto Ayora and the other inhabited islands of San Cristóbal or Isabela. Puerto Ayora travel guide from Wikivoyage Staying on Santa Cruz galapagosonline.com*
Lava is molten rock generated by geothermal energy and expelled through fractures in planetary crust or in an eruption at temperatures from 700 to 1,200 °C. The structures resulting from subsequent solidification and cooling are sometimes described as lava; the molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, some of their satellites, though such material located below the crust is referred to by other terms. A lava flow is a moving outpouring of lava created during a non-explosive effusive eruption; when it has stopped moving, lava solidifies to form igneous rock. The term lava flow is shortened to lava. Although lava can be up to 100,000 times more viscous than water, lava can flow great distances before cooling and solidifying because of its thixotropic and shear thinning properties. Explosive eruptions produce a mixture of volcanic ash and other fragments called tephra, rather than lava flows; the word lava comes from Italian, is derived from the Latin word labes which means a fall or slide.
The first use in connection with extruded magma was in a short account written by Francesco Serao on the eruption of Vesuvius in 1737. Serao described "a flow of fiery lava" as an analogy to the flow of water and mud down the flanks of the volcano following heavy rain; the composition of all lava of the Earth's crust is dominated by silicate minerals feldspars, pyroxenes, amphiboles and quartz. Igneous rocks, which form lava flows when erupted, can be classified into three chemical types: felsic and mafic; these classes are chemical, the chemistry of lava tends to correlate with the magma temperature, its viscosity and its mode of eruption. Felsic or silicic lavas such as rhyolite and dacite form lava spines, lava domes or "coulees" and are associated with pyroclastic deposits. Most silicic lava flows are viscous, fragment as they extrude, producing blocky autobreccias; the high viscosity and strength are the result of their chemistry, high in silica, potassium and calcium, forming a polymerized liquid rich in feldspar and quartz, thus has a higher viscosity than other magma types.
Felsic magmas can erupt at temperatures as low as 650 to 750 °C. Unusually hot rhyolite lavas, may flow for distances of many tens of kilometres, such as in the Snake River Plain of the northwestern United States. Intermediate or andesitic lavas are lower in aluminium and silica, somewhat richer in magnesium and iron. Intermediate lavas form andesite domes and block lavas, may occur on steep composite volcanoes, such as in the Andes. Poorer in aluminium and silica than felsic lavas, commonly hotter, they tend to be less viscous. Greater temperatures tend to destroy polymerized bonds within the magma, promoting more fluid behaviour and a greater tendency to form phenocrysts. Higher iron and magnesium tends to manifest as a darker groundmass, occasionally amphibole or pyroxene phenocrysts. Mafic or basaltic lavas are typified by their high ferromagnesian content, erupt at temperatures in excess of 950 °C. Basaltic magma is high in iron and magnesium, has lower aluminium and silica, which taken together reduces the degree of polymerization within the melt.
Owing to the higher temperatures, viscosities can be low, although still thousands of times higher than water. The low degree of polymerization and high temperature favors chemical diffusion, so it is common to see large, well-formed phenocrysts within mafic lavas. Basalt lavas tend to produce low-profile shield volcanoes or "flood basalt fields", because the fluidal lava flows for long distances from the vent; the thickness of a basalt lava on a low slope, may be much greater than the thickness of the moving lava flow at any one time, because basalt lavas may "inflate" by supply of lava beneath a solidified crust. Most basalt lavas are of pāhoehoe types, rather than block lavas. Underwater, they can form pillow lavas, which are rather similar to entrail-type pahoehoe lavas on land. Ultramafic lavas such as komatiite and magnesian magmas that form boninite take the composition and temperatures of eruptions to the extreme. Komatiites contain over 18% magnesium oxide, are thought to have erupted at temperatures of 1,600 °C.
At this temperature there is no polymerization of the mineral compounds, creating a mobile liquid. Most if not all ultramafic lavas are no younger than the Proterozoic, with a few ultramafic magmas known from the Phanerozoic. No modern komatiite lavas are known, as the Earth's mantle has cooled too much to produce magnesian magmas; some lavas of unusual composition have erupted onto the surface of the Earth. These include: Carbonatite and natrocarbonatite lavas are known from Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania, the sole example of an active carbonatite volcano. Iron oxide lavas are thought to be the source of the iron ore at Kiruna, Sweden which formed during the Proterozoic. Iron oxide lavas of Pliocene age occur at the El Laco volcanic complex on the Chile-Argentina border. Iron oxide lavas are thought to be the result of immiscible separation of iron oxide magma from a parental magma of calc-alkaline or alkaline composition. Sulfur lava flows up to 250 metres 10 metres wide occur at Lastarria volcano, Chile.
They were formed by the melting of sulfur deposits at temperatures as low as 113 °C
Ecuador the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland; the capital city is Quito, the largest city. What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century; the territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are recognized, including Quichua and Shuar; the sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic with a developing economy, dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products.
It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 18 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights, it has the fifth lowest homicide rate in the Americas. Various peoples had settled in the area of the future Ecuador before the arrival of the Incas; the archeological evidence suggests that the Paleo-Indians' first dispersal into the Americas occurred near the end of the last glacial period, around 16,500–13,000 years ago. The first Indians who reached Ecuador may have journeyed by land from North and Central America or by boat down the Pacific Ocean coastline. Much migrations to Ecuador may have come via the Amazon tributaries, others descended from northern South America, others ascended from the southern part of South America through the Andes.
They developed different languages while emerging as unique ethnic groups. Though their languages were unrelated, these groups developed similar groups of cultures, each based in different environments; the people of the coast developed a fishing and gathering culture. Over time these groups began to interact and intermingle with each other so that groups of families in one area became one community or tribe, with a similar language and culture. Many civilizations arose in Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus, the Cañari; each civilization developed its own distinctive architecture and religious interests. In the highland Andes mountains, where life was more sedentary, groups of tribes cooperated and formed villages. Through wars and marriage alliances of their leaders, a group of nations formed confederations. One region consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris, which exercised organized trading and bartering between the different regions.
Its political and military power came under the rule of the Duchicela blood-line. When the Incas arrived, they found that these confederations were so developed that it took the Incas two generations of rulers—Topa Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Capac—to absorb them into the Inca Empire; the native confederations that gave them the most problems were deported to distant areas of Peru and north Argentina. A number of loyal Inca subjects from Peru and Bolivia were brought to Ecuador to prevent rebellion. Thus, the region of highland Ecuador became part of the Inca Empire in 1463 sharing the same language. In contrast, when the Incas made incursions into coastal Ecuador and the eastern Amazon jungles of Ecuador, they found both the environment and indigenous people more hostile. Moreover, when the Incas tried to subdue them, these indigenous people withdrew to the interior and resorted to guerrilla tactics; as a result, Inca expansion into the Amazon Basin and the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hampered.
The indigenous people of the Amazon jungle and coastal Ecuador remained autonomous until the Spanish soldiers and missionaries arrived in force. The Amazonian people and the Cayapas of Coastal Ecuador were the only groups to resist Inca and Spanish domination, maintaining their language and culture well into the 21st century. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca Empire was involved in a civil war; the untimely death of both the heir Ninan Cuchi and the Emperor Huayna Capac, from a European disease that spread into Ecuador, created a power vacuum between two factions. The northern faction headed by Atahualpa claims that Huayna Capac gave a verbal decree before his death about how the empire should be divided, he gave the territories pertaining to present-day Ecuador and northern Peru to his favorite son Atahualpa, to rule from Quito. He willed that his heart be buried in Quito, his favorite city, the rest of his body be buried with his ancestors in Cuzco. Huáscar did not recognize his fa
Santa Cruz Island (Galápagos)
Santa Cruz Island is one of the Galápagos Islands with an area of 986 km2 and a maximum altitude of 864 metres. Situated in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela, its capital is the most populated urban centre in the islands. On Santa Cruz there are some small villages, whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising; this island is a large dormant volcano. It is estimated. There is a gigantic lava tunnel, over 2000 meters long on the island that many tourists visit and walk through; as a testimony to its volcanic history there are two big holes formed by the collapse of a magma chamber: Los Gemelos, or "The Twins". Named after the Holy Cross, its English name was given after a British vessel HMS Indefatigable. Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora, with a total of 12,000 residents on the island. Tortuga Bay is located on the Santa Cruz Island, a short walk from center of Puerto Ayora where you can view Marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and a natural mangrove where you can spot white tip reef sharks and the gigantic galápagos tortoise.
Charles Darwin Research Station Headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service Lava tubes El Chato and Rancho Primicias Giant Tortoise Reserves Itabaca Channel Black Turtle Cove Cerro Dragón Tortuga Bay Playa El Garrapatero Los Gemelos Stand of Scalesia - daisy trees On June 19, 2002 the cities of Seabrook and Santa Cruz Island finalized a sister city status during a ceremony at Seabrook City Hall. Santa Cruz Island Information
A harbor or harbour is a sheltered body of water where ships and barges can be docked. The term harbor is used interchangeably with port, a man-made facility built for loading and unloading vessels and dropping off and picking up passengers. Ports include one or more harbors. Alexandria Port in Egypt is an example of a port with two harbors. Harbors may be artificial. An artificial harbor can have deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jettys or they can be constructed by dredging, which requires maintenance by further periodic dredging. An example of an artificial harbor is Long Beach Harbor, United States, an array of salt marshes and tidal flats too shallow for modern merchant ships before it was first dredged in the early 20th century. In contrast, a natural harbor is surrounded on several sides by prominences of land. Examples of natural harbors include Sydney Harbour and Trincomalee Harbour in Sri Lanka. Artificial harbors are built for use as ports; the oldest artificial harbor known is the Ancient Egyptian site at Wadi al-Jarf, on the Red Sea coast, at least 4500 years old.
The largest artificially created. Other large and busy artificial harbors include: Port of Houston, United States. Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. A natural harbor is a landform where a part of a body of water is protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage. Many such harbors are rias. Natural harbors have long been of great strategic naval and economic importance, many great cities of the world are located on them. Having a protected harbor reduces or eliminates the need for breakwaters as it will result in calmer waves inside the harbor; some examples are: Port Hercules in Principality of Monaco. For harbors near the North and South Poles, being ice-free is an important advantage when it is year-round. Examples of these include: Hammerfest, Norway. Vardø, Norway. Although the world's busiest port is a hotly contested title, in 2006 the world's busiest harbor by cargo tonnage was the Port of Shanghai; the following are large natural harbors: Harbor Maintenance Finance and Funding Congressional Research Service "Harbor".
New International Encyclopedia. 1905