Darwin

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.18°S
  • 91.28°W

  • 1330 m
    4362 ft

  • 353030
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Bulletin Report: December 1973 (CSLP 150-73)


Thermal anomalies, but no confirmed activity

Card 1752 (13 December 1973) Hot-spots on E flank detected on infrared satellite imagery

Observations from space... support previous indication of eruption on Wolf (Event Card 1749), and suggest strong thermal activity on Darwin. . . .

Card 1757 (17 December 1973) Infrared hot-spot probably not eruption related

Close inspection of NOAA-2 imagery shows hot spots reported on Event Card 1752 coincide with caldera floors, not outer flanks, and can probably be explained by normal daytime temperature differences. . . .

Information Contacts: Card 1752 (13 December 1973) F. Parmenter, NOAA; M. McEwen, NASA; J. Filson, MIT; T. Simkin, SI.
Card 1757 (17 December 1973) A. Krueger and F. Parmenter, NOAA; J. Filson, MIT; P. Kramer, Darwin Research Station; T. Simkin, SI.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Darwin.

Bulletin Reports - Index


Reports are organized chronologically and indexed below by Month/Year (Publication Volume:Number), and include a one-line summary. Click on the index link or scroll down to read the reports.

07/1971 (CSLP 42-71) Aerial reconnaissance shows caldera unchanged

12/1973 (CSLP 150-73) Thermal anomalies, but no confirmed activity




Information is preliminary and subject to change. All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


July 1971 (CSLP 42-71)


Aerial reconnaissance shows caldera unchanged

Card 1249 (07 July 1971)

". . . recent inspection of volcano Fernandina . . . shows that the caldera has not resumed the collapse begun in 1968. The caldera remains essentially the same and aerial reconnaissance of nearby calderas, Wolf and Darwin (Isla Isabella) are likewise unchanged. . . ."

Information Contacts: Educational Expeditions International Research Team, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; T. Simkin, SI.


December 1973 (CSLP 150-73)


Thermal anomalies, but no confirmed activity

Card 1752 (13 December 1973) Hot-spots on E flank detected on infrared satellite imagery

Observations from space... support previous indication of eruption on Wolf (Event Card 1749), and suggest strong thermal activity on Darwin. . . .

Card 1757 (17 December 1973) Infrared hot-spot probably not eruption related

Close inspection of NOAA-2 imagery shows hot spots reported on Event Card 1752 coincide with caldera floors, not outer flanks, and can probably be explained by normal daytime temperature differences. . . .

Information Contacts: Card 1752 (13 December 1973) F. Parmenter, NOAA; M. McEwen, NASA; J. Filson, MIT; T. Simkin, SI.
Card 1757 (17 December 1973) A. Krueger and F. Parmenter, NOAA; J. Filson, MIT; P. Kramer, Darwin Research Station; T. Simkin, SI.

Eruptive History


Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1813 Jun 6 1813 Jun 7 (?) Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Volcano Uncertain: more likely Darwin than Wolf, Alcedo
1150 ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Surface Exposure
0210 ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Surface Exposure

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Photo Gallery


Two massive Galápagos shield volcanoes, their slopes darkened by young unvegetated lava flows that reach to the sea, appear in this space-shuttle photograph. Fernandina volcano, the most active in the Galápagos Islands, forms a 30 x 34 km wide island with a 4 x 6.5 km wide caldera at its summit. Darwin volcano, north of the midpoint of Isabela Island, has a 5-km-wide summit caldera. The tuff cones of Tagus and Beagle are prominent along its western coast. The light-colored area south of Darwin is the lower western flank of Alcedo volcano.

Shuttle photo by National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), 1989.
See title for photo information.
Volcán Darwin, named after the celebrated naturalist, rises above a narrow channel opposite Point Espinosa on the NE tip of Fernandina Island. Darwin volcano contains a symmetrical 5-km-wide summit caldera that is nearly filled by lava flows. The most recent summit activity produced several small lava flows from vents on the east caldera floor and NE and SE caldera rims. Two breached tuff cones on the SW-flank coast, Tagus and Beagle, were a prominent part of Darwin's geological studies in the Galápagos Islands.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1978 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The renowned tuff cones of Tagus (upper left) and Beagle (lower right) were formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions along the coast of Darwin volcano in the Galápagos Islands. The rim of Tagus is breached by Tagus Cove, a storied anchorage in the Galápagos archipelago visited by Darwin's vessel, the Beagle. Tagus tuff cone has at least four nested craters, the youngest of which contains a small salt lake. Fresh black lava flows from fissures on the flanks of Darwin volcano largely surround the tuff cones.

Aerial photo by U.S. Air Force.
See title for photo information.
The spatter cones at the right are part of a chain of conelets built of scoria and lava agglutinate erupted from a SW-flank radial fissure from Darwin volcano that cuts across the rim of Tagus tuff cone. Tagus tuff cone contains at least four nested craters. The rims of three of these craters are seen in the backgound. Phreatomagmatic eruptions, resulting from the interaction of magma with seawater, produced the tuff cones.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1978 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The smallest of at least four nested craters on Tagus tuff cone, located on the SW flank of Darwin volcano, is filled by a small lake. The ridge at the upper left is the SE rim of the tuff cone, which is breached by Tagus Cove, one of the most renowned anchorages in the Galápagos archipelago. Cerro Azul shield volcano rises in the distance at the southern end of Isabela Island.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1978 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
The smooth flank of Darwin shield volcano, seen here from the east coast of Fernandina Island, is modified by a cluster of tuff cones near the SW base of the volcano. The Tagus and Beagle tuff cones (right center horizon) were formed by phreatomagmatic eruptions along the SW coast of Darwin. Fresh black lava flows erupted from fissures on the flanks of Darwin volcano descend to the sea on both sides of the tuff-cone complex.

Photo by Lee Siebert, 1978 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
This dramatic Space Shuttle photo from a 1988 mission shows five major calderas of the Galápagos Islands. Caldera diameters capping these basasltic shield volcanoes range up to 8 km. At the lower left is Fernandina volcano. At the lower right is mostly vegetated Alcedo volcano on Isabela Island. Above and to the left is Darwin volcano, with the two prominent breached tuff cones, Tagus and Beagle, on its SW flank. Volcán Wolf is at the top of the photo, and Volcán Ecuador with its breached caldera forms the NW tip of Isabela Island.

Shuttle photo by National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), 1988.
See title for photo information.
Volcán Ecuador, which straddles the equator at the NW end of Isabela Island, rises beyond a lava flow near Beagle tuff cone on the flanks of Darwin volcano. Ecuador is the smallest of the six large shield volcanoes on Isabela and is broadly breached to the coast on the side opposite this view. No historical eruptions are known; however, the youthful morphology of its most recent lava flows resembles those of very recent flows on other Isabela Island volcanoes. A line of NE-trending fissure-fed vents (right horizon) extends to the SE.

Photo by Ed Vicenzi, 2002 (Smithsonian Institution).
See title for photo information.
A spectacular aerial view from the SE shows the caldera of Darwin volcano in the foreground, with Volcán Wolf in the right background and the tip of Volcán Ecuador at the NW tip of Isabella Island on far left horizon. Volcán Darwin, named after the renowned naturalist, contains a symmetrical 5-km-wide, 200-m-deep summit caldera whose floor is nearly covered by youthful lava flows. A broad terrace occupies the SW part of the caldera (left side). Fresh-looking, dark-colored lava flows from flank fissures are visible between Darwin and Wolf volcanoes.

Photo by Patricio Ramon, 2003 (Instituto Geofisca, Escuela Politecnica Nacional).
See title for photo information.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


There are no samples for Darwin in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences Rock and Ore collection.

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