Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 259–275 | Cite as

The pattern of circumferential and radial eruptive fissures on the volcanoes of Fernandina and Isabela islands, Galapagos

  • William W ChadwickJr
  • Keith A Howard


Maps of the eruptive vents on the active shield volcanoes of Fernandina and Isabela islands, Galapagos, made from aerial photographs, display a distinctive pattern that consists of circumferential eruptive fissures around the summit calderas and radial fissures lower on the flanks. On some volcano flanks either circumferential or radial eruptions have been dominant in recent time. The location of circumferential vents outside the calderas is independent of caldera-related normal faults. The eruptive fissures are the surface expression of dike emplacement, and the dike orientations are interpreted to be controlled by the state of stress in the volcano. Very few subaerial volcanoes display a pattern of fissures similar to that of the Galapagos volcanoes. Some seamounts and shield volcanoes on Mars morphologically resemble the Galapagos volcanoes, but more specific evidence is needed to determine if they also share common structure and eruptive style.


Surface Expression Normal Fault Aerial Photograph Sedimentology Distinctive Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albee AL, Palluconi DF (1990) Mars Observer's global mapping mission. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 71:1099–1107Google Scholar
  2. Anderson EM (1936) The dynamics of the formation of cone sheets, ring-dikes and cauldron subsidences. R Soc Edinburgh Proc 56:128–163Google Scholar
  3. Anderson EM (1951) The dynamics of faulting and dyke formation. Oliver and Boyd, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailey EB, Clough CT, Wright WB, Richey JE, Wilson GV (1924) Tertiary and post-Tertiary geology of Mull, Loch Aline and Oban. Mem Geol Surv Scotland, 445 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Banfield AF, Behre CH Jr, St Clair D (1956) Geology of Isabela (Albemarle) Island, Archipelago de Colon (Galapagos). Geol Soc Am Bull 67:215–234Google Scholar
  6. Batiza R, Vanko D (1983) Volcanic development of small oceanic central volcanoes on the flanks of the East Pacific Rise inferred from narrow-beam echo-sounder surveys. Mar Geol 54:53–90Google Scholar
  7. Billings MP (1943) Ring-dikes and their origin. Trans New York Acad Sci, Ser II 5:131–144Google Scholar
  8. Carr MH (1981) The Surface of Mars. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  9. Carr MH, Greeley R, Blasius KR, Guest JE, Murray JB (1977) Some martian volcanic features as viewed from the Viking Orbiters. J Geophys Res 82:3985–4015Google Scholar
  10. Cattermole P (1986) Linear volcanic features at Alba Patera, Mars — probable spatter ridges. Proc 17th Lunar Planet Sci Conf Pt 1, J Geophys Res 91:E159-E165Google Scholar
  11. Crumpler LS, Aubele JC (1978) Structural evolution of Arsia Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Ascreus Mons: Tharsis region of Mars. Icarus 34:496–511Google Scholar
  12. Cullen AB, McBirney AR, Rogers RD (1987) Structural controls on the morphology of Galapagos shields. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 34:143–151Google Scholar
  13. Darwin CR (1844) Geological observations on volcanic islands. Smith, Elder & Co, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Delaney JR, Colony WE, Gerlach TM, Nordlie BE (1973) Geology of the Volcan Chico area on Sierra Negra volcano, Galapagos Islands. Geol Soc Am Bull 84:2455–2470Google Scholar
  15. Delaney PT, Pollard DD (1981) Deformation of host rocks and flow of magma during growth of minette dikes and brecciabearing intrusions near Ship Rock, New Mexico. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1202, 61 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Dieterich JH (1988) Growth and persistence of Hawaiian volcanic rift zones. J Geophys Res 93:4258–4270Google Scholar
  17. Fiske RS, Jackson ED (1972) Orientation and growth of Hawaiian volcanic rifts: the effect of regional structure and gravitational stresses. Proc R Soc London Ser A 329:299–326Google Scholar
  18. Fornari DJ, Batiza R, Allan JF (1987) Irregularly shaped seamounts near the East Pacific Rise: implications for seamount origin and rise exis processes. In: Keating B, Fryer P, Batiza R, Boehler F (eds) Seamounts, islands, and atolls. Geophysical Monograph 43. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 35–47Google Scholar
  19. Fornari DJ, Perfit MR, Allan JF, Batiza R, Haymon R, Barone A, Ryan WBF, Smith T, Simkin T, Luckman MA (1988) Geochemical and structural studies of the Lamount seamounts: seamounts as indicators of mantle processes. Earth and Plan Sci Lett 89:63–83Google Scholar
  20. Fornari DJ, Ryan WBF, Fox PJ (1984) The evolution of craters and calderas on young seamounts: insights from Sea Marc I and Sea Beam sonar surveys of a small seamount group near the axis of the East Pacific Rise at 10° N. J Geophys Res 89:11069–11083Google Scholar
  21. Greeley R, Spudis PD (1981) Volcanism on Mars. Rev Geophys Space Phys 19:13–41Google Scholar
  22. Hey R (1977) Tectonic evolution of the Cocos-Nazca spreading center. Geol Soc Am Bull 88:1404–1420Google Scholar
  23. Hey R, Duennebier FK, Morgan WJ (1980) Propagating rifts on mid-ocean ridges. J Geophys Res 85:2647–2658Google Scholar
  24. Hey R, Johnson GL, Lowrie A (1977) Recent plate motions in the Galapagos area. Geol Soc Am Bull 88:1385–1403Google Scholar
  25. Holcomb RT (1981) Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: chronology and morphology of the surficial lava flows. US Geol Surv Open-File Rep 81-354, 321 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Holcomb RT (1987) Eruptive history and long-term behavior of Kilauea Volcano. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1350:261–350Google Scholar
  27. Lénat JF, Bachèlery P (1988) Dynamics of magma transfer at Piton de la Fournaise volcano (Réunion Island, Indian Ocean). In: King CY, Scarpa R (eds) Modeling of volcanic processes. Friedr Viewge, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, pp 57–72Google Scholar
  28. Lénat JF, Bachèlery P, Bonneville A, Hirn A (1989) The beginning of the 1985–1987 eruptive cycle at Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion); new insights in the magmatic and volcano-tectonic systems. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 36:209–232Google Scholar
  29. Lonsdale P (1983) Laccoliths(?) and small volcanoes on the flank of the East Pacific Rise. Geology 11:706–709Google Scholar
  30. Lonsdale P, Spiess FN (1979) A pair of young cratered volcanoes on the East Pacific Rise. J Geol 87:157–173Google Scholar
  31. Macdonald GA (1965) Hawaiian calderas. Pac Sci 19:320–334Google Scholar
  32. Macdonald GA, Abbott AT, Peterson FL (1983) Volcanoes in the sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 517 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. MacLeod NS, Sherrod DR (1988) Geologic evidence for a magma chamber beneath Newberry Volcano, Oregon. J Geophys Res 93:10067–10079Google Scholar
  34. MacLeod NS, Sherrod DR, Chitwood LA (1982) Geologic map of Newberry volcano, Deschutes, Klamath, and Lake Countries, Oregon. US Geol Surv Open-File Rep 82-847Google Scholar
  35. Malahoff A (1989) Neovolcanism, tectonism, mass wasting and seismicity of Loihi submarine volcano. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 70:1190Google Scholar
  36. Mark RK, Moore JG (1987) Slopes of the Hawaiian Ridge. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1350:101–107Google Scholar
  37. McBirney AR, Williams H (1969) Geology and petrology of the Galapagos Islands. Geol Soc Am Memoir 118, 197 ppGoogle Scholar
  38. Moore JG, Clague DA, Holcomb RT, Lipman PW, Normark WR, Torresan ME (1989) Prodigious submarine landslides on the Hawaiian Ridge. J Geophys Res 94:17465–17484Google Scholar
  39. Morgan WJ (1971) Convection plumes in the lower mantle. Nature 230:42–43Google Scholar
  40. Mouginis-Mark PJ (1981) Late-stage summit activity of martian shield volcanoes. Proc Lunar Planet Sci Conf 12B:1431–1447Google Scholar
  41. Muller OH, Pollard DD (1977) The stress state near Spanish Peaks, Colorado, determined from a dike pattern. Pure Appl Geophys 115:69–86Google Scholar
  42. Munro D, Mouginis-Mark PJ (1990) Eruptive patterns and structure of Isla Fernandina, Galapagos Islands, from SPOT-1 HRV and large format camera images. Int J Remote Sensing 11:1501–1509Google Scholar
  43. Nakamura K (1977) Volcanoes as possible indicates of tectonic stress orientation-principal and proposal. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 2:1–16Google Scholar
  44. Nakamura K (1980) Why do long rift zones develop in Hawaiian volcanoes — a possible role of thick oceanic sediments. Bull Volcanol Soc Japan 25:255–267Google Scholar
  45. Newhall CG, Dzurisin D (1988) Historical unrest at large calderas of the world. US Geol Surv Bull 1855, 1108 ppGoogle Scholar
  46. Nordlie BE (1973) Morphology and structure of the western Galapagos volcanoes and a model for their origin. Geol Soc Am Bull 84:2931–2956Google Scholar
  47. Odé H (1957) Mechanical analysis of the dike pattern of the Spanish Peaks area, Colorado. Geol Soc Am Bull 68:567–576Google Scholar
  48. Peterson DW, Moore RB (1987) Geologic history and evolution of geologic concepts, island of Hawaii. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1350:149–189Google Scholar
  49. Pollard DD (1987) Elementary fracture mechanics applied to the structural interpretation of dykes. Geol Assoc Can Spec Pap 34:5–24Google Scholar
  50. Pollard DD, Segall P, Delaney PT (1982) Formation and interpretation of dilatant echelon cracks. Geol Soc Am Bull 93:1291–1303Google Scholar
  51. Richards A (1962) Active volcanoes of the Archipelago de Colon (Galapagos), Catalogue of the active volcanoes of the world, Part XIV. International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, NaplesGoogle Scholar
  52. Richey JE (1932) Tertiary ring structures in Britain. Trans Geol Soc Glasgow 19:42–140Google Scholar
  53. Searle RC (1983) Submarine central volcanoes on the Nazca plate — high-resolution sonar observations. Mar Geol 53:77–102Google Scholar
  54. Simkin T (1972) Origin of some flat-topped volcanoes and guyots. Geol Soc Am Mem 132:183–193Google Scholar
  55. Simkin T (1984) Geology of Galapagos Islands. In: Perry R (ed) Galapagos. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 15–41Google Scholar
  56. Simkin T, Batiza R (1984) Flattish summits, calderas and circumferential vents: a morphogenetic comparison of young EPR seamounts and Galapagos volcanoes. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 65:1080Google Scholar
  57. Simkin T, Fiske RS (1986) Volcano growth dominated by circumferential feeding systems: A morphogenetic comparison of Galapagos volcanoes with young volcanic seamounts. IAV-CEI Volcanological Congress, Hamilton, New Zealand (abstract volume)Google Scholar
  58. Simkin T, Siebert L, McClelland L, Bridge D, Newhall C, Latter JH (1981) Volcanoes of the World. Hutchinson Ross, Stroudsburg, PAGoogle Scholar
  59. Stearns HT, Macdonald GA (1946) Geology and ground water resources of the island of Hawaii. Hawaii Div Hydrology Bull 9, 363 ppGoogle Scholar
  60. Swanson DA, Duffield WA, Fiske RS (1976) Displacement of the south flank of Kilauea Volcano: the result of forceful intrusion of magma into the the rift zones. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 963, 39 ppGoogle Scholar
  61. Vicenzi EP, McBirney AR, White WM, Hamilton M (1990) The geology and geochemistry of Isla Marchena, Galapagos Archipelago: an ocean island adjacent to a mid-ocean ridge. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 40:291–315Google Scholar
  62. Walker GPL (1984) Downsag calderas, ring faults, caldera sizes, and incremental caldera growth. J Geophys Res 89:8407–8416Google Scholar
  63. Wilson JT (1963) A posible origin of the Hawaiian Islands. Can J Physics 41:863–870Google Scholar
  64. Wise DU (1982) Linesmanship and the practice of Linear Geo-art. Geol Soc Am Bull 93:886–888Google Scholar
  65. Wolfe EW, Garcia MO, Jackson DB, Koyanagi RY, Neal CA, Okamura AT (1987) The Puu Oo eruption of Kilauea volcano, episodes 1–20, January 3, 1983, to June 8, 1984. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1350:471–508Google Scholar
  66. Wood C (1984) Calderas: a planetary perspective. J Geophys Res 89:8391–8406Google Scholar
  67. Wright TL, Fiske RS (1971) Origin of the differentiated and hybrid lavas of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii. J Petrol 12:110–133Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • William W ChadwickJr
    • 1
  • Keith A Howard
    • 1
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations