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While age data for the GVP remains limited there is nevertheless evidence for GVP formation via a process that leads to broad regions of coeval volcanism (Figures 2 & 3).
The most notable observation is a 10-11 Ma region of dispersed concurrent volcanism on both the Cocos and Nazca tectonic plates (Figure 2).
This webpage summarises our recent paper published in The well-studied Galápagos Archipelago is a small part of the much larger Galápagos Volcanic Province (GVP) consisting of the Cocos, Carnegie, Coiba and Malpelo aseismic ridges and related seamount provinces.
In order to establish how well the GVP fits with the predictions of the "standard" fixed hotspot and mantle plume hypotheses we undertook the first systematic dredge-TV Grab sampling of the largely un-sampled submerged regions of the GVP (Figure 1) using the RV SONNE ( that have been put forward to explain the origin of the GVP.
Correlating new and published sample site ages with distance from the western side of the Galápagos Islands shows that volcanism has not progressed in narrow, time-progressive lines of seamounts and ridges as predicted by the conventional fixed-hotspot/mantle-plume hypothesis.The melting anomaly diameter of ~400 km is inferred from a Cocos plate velocity of ~81 mm/yr and an average of ~5 Ma of volcanism at any particular locality across the GVP (Figure 2).The 0-5 Ma insert illustrates the development of coeval lines of dispersed volcanism orientated in the direction of plate motion and corresponding in size to the width of the melting anomaly (numbers represent millions of years since the lava cooled).Short solid blue lines show time-progression of coeval lines and their proposed time-progression across the GVP.B) Nazca Plate: Shows the corresponding age-distance correlation for GVP volcanism on the Nazca plate.