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Volcano Eruption


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Contact Information

AGU Meetings Department
2000 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009 USA
Phone: +1 202 777 7329

The Galápagos as a Laboratory for the Earth Sciences

Puerto Ayora, Galápagos, Ecuador
25 – 30 July 2011

Conference Objectives and General Description

The conference is designed with two primary goals. The first is to set the foundation for a monograph that synthesizes recent work on ocean-island magmatism, with a focus on the Galapagos. The second is to plan strategically for future interdisciplinary Earth sciences work in the archipelago. Geochemical and petrologic studies in the islands, of seamounts, and along the Galápagos Spreading Center indicate that this region is strongly influenced by two-way exchange between the upper mantle and deep-plume, making it one of the best places in the world to study plume-ridge interaction. The Galapagos also includes some of the most active volcanic provinces on the planet. Newly initiated seismic networks demonstrate high levels of earthquake activity beneath the active volcanoes, and the western shields are some of the most rapidly inflating volcanoes anywhere. Over 90% of the original native biota has survived, making the Galápagos a nearly pristine tropical archipelago, and thus an ideal place to understand the relationship between the origin and evolution of ocean islands and the biogeography and phylogeography of the organisms, as well as how their protection can be assured. The Galápagos are also an exceptional locality for deep Earth seismic studies because the wide footprint of the islands provides a large aperture for marine controlled source experiments, and the Pacific subduction zones supply excellent azimuthal coverage for passive earthquake monitoring. We are at a crucial stage where only a multi-disciplinary strategy will advance our understanding of ocean island systems to the next level, by merging field studies with modeling efforts in a systematic and focused approach. For all of these reasons, it is a critical time to develop both a synthesis and a strategic plan for the future of integrated Earth science studies of this dynamic system and of ocean islands in general.

Further Information

To receive future updates about this conference, e-mail or call the AGU Meetings Department at +1-202-777-7329.

For information about the scientific program, please contact the conveners via e-mail:


Mark Richards, UC Berkeley, USA,
Dennis Geist, University of Idaho, USA,

Organizing Committee

Gordon Grant, USDA Forest Service,
Patricio Ramon, Escuela Politecnica National, Ecuador,
Karen Harpp, Colgate University, USA,
Doug Toomey, University of Oregon, USA,
Garrett Ito, University of Hawaii, USA,
Cynthia Ebinger, University of Rochester,


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Travel Support

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