Straddling the equator approximately 1000 kilometers to the west of the South American mainland, the Galapagos Islands lie within the heart of the equatorial current system. Rising from the sea floor, the volcanic islands of the Galapagos are set on top of a large submarine platform. The main portion of the Galapagos platform is relatively flat and less than 1000 meters in depth. The steepest slopes are found along the western and southern flanks of the platform with a gradual slope towards the east. The interactions of the Galapagos and the oceanic currents create vastly different environmental regimes which not only isolates one part of the Archipelago from the other but allows penguins to live along the equator on the western part of the Archipelago and tropical corals around the islands to the north. The islands are relatively new in geologic terms with the youngest islands in the west still exhibiting periodic eruptions from their massive volcanic craters.
Images and Video's in the gallery pages may be protected by
copyright. You may download one copy for non-commercial personal
use to be displayed on your personal computer. Use other then
non-commercial requires that you obtain permission if
copyrighted from the copyright holder. See disclaimer page for
more detail. We will help direct you to the proper source if you
are unsure of copyright holder or your usage. Please always state
proper source / credit.