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As I have traveled more and more around the world. I have become fascinated with geology. The history of the Earth was interesting to learn about in school, but it is far more interesting to see the effects of plate tectonics is action. The Galapagos Islands are one of the few places you can actually see land forms being created.

The Galapagos Islands are a small group of volcanic islands right on the equator. They are located approximately 600 miles west of the South American coast at the edge of the Nazca and Cocos plates. The Nazca plate is slowly moving east southeast. The oldest islands are on the eastern end of the chain and the youngest, volcanically active, islands are further west. Some of the oldest islands have eroded and are submerged below the Pacific. The volcanos on the islands Fernandina and Isabela are still active. There was a volcanic event as recently as 2008.

The islands are the product of a opening in the Earth’s surface called a hotspot, or mantle plume. I think of the hot spot as a leak in the mantle that stays put and the Earth’s plates slowly move over it. Every once in a while, in a geological terms, the leak gets bigger and a volcano is created.

For more information: Cornell Geology dept, UHI

Would you like to be part of Midge & Snig’s adventure in the Galapagos? Want to have your name (or any name you choose) in my next book? From now until the end of April, everyone who follows my blog, signs up for my newsletter, or leaves a comment, will be entered in a drawing for the chance to name the cruise ship featured in the book.

This post in part of the AtoZ Challenge. Please click on the sunflower AtoZ icon in the sidebar to go to the official list of participating blogs. This year my theme is the Galapagos Islands. I am in the process of writing the first of my Midge & Snig mystery series set in the islands. In my research, I have come across a plethora of interesting facts and images. The vast majority of my research won’t get included in the book, but it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with you all.