Galápagos Hotspot

The Galápagos hotspot is a volcanic hotspot in the East Pacific Ocean responsible for the creation of the Galapagos Islands as well as three major aseismic ridge systems, Carnegie, Cocos and Malpelso which are on two tectonic plates. The hotspot is located near the Equator on the Nazca Plate not far from the divergent plate boundary with the Cocos Plate. The tectonic setting of the hotspot is complicated by the Galapagos Triple Junction of the Nazca and Cocos plates with the Pacific Plate. The movement of the plates over the hotspot is determined not solely by the spreading along the ridge but also by the relative motion between the Pacific Plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates.

The hotspot is believed to be over 20 million years old and in that time there has been interaction between the hotspot, both of these plates, and the divergent plate boundary, at the Galapagos Spreading Centre. Lavas from the hotspot do not exhibit the homogeneous nature of many hotspots; instead there is evidence of four major reservoirs feeding the hotspot. These mix to varying degrees at different locations on the archipelago and also within the Galapagos Spreading Centre.

Read more about Galápagos Hotspot:  Hotspot Theory, Tectonic Setting, Chemical Structure of The Galapagos Lavas

Other articles related to "hotspot":

Galápagos Hotspot - Chemical Structure of The Galapagos Lavas
... The four types are PLUME – this is magma associated with the plume itself and is similar to magmas from other ocean islands within the Pacific ... It has the characteristics of intermediate Strontium (Sr), Neodymium (Nd) and Lead (Pb) ratios ...
Carnegie Ridge - History
... of the Pacific started at about 20 Ma when the Galapagos hotspot formed, following the break-up of the Farallon Plate and the formation of the separate Cocos and Nazca Plates ... At about 19.5 Ma, the Galapagos Rise spreading center moved so that most of the hotspot magmatism affected the Nazca Plate, forming the combined Carnegie and Malpelo Ridges ... Galapagos Rise moved north again at about 5 Ma, leaving the hotspot entirely within the Nazca Plate, which is the current situation ...