San Cristóbal

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 0.88°S
  • 89.5°W

  • 759 m
    2490 ft

  • 353120
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for San Cristóbal.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for San Cristóbal.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for San Cristóbal.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Credible

759 m / 2490 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

San Cristóbal Island consists of a densely vegetated western part and a lower, younger eastern part with many extremely youthful lava flows. The SW-side shield volcano morphologically resembles low-angle Hawaiian shields more than the steep-sided shields of Fernandina and Isabela Island. Most lava flows on the NE part of the island originated from SW-NE-trending fissures. Young lava flows have reached the sea, where some littoral cones formed. The latest eruptions were prehistorical in age, but are probably less than 1000 years old. Kicker Rock, two paired, steep-cliffed islands separated by a narrow cleft, is an enroded remnant of a tuff cone that forms one of the scenic highlights of the Galápagos, 5 km off the west coast of San Cristóbal.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Cox A, 1971. Paleomagnetism of San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 11: 152-160.

Geist D J, McBirney A R, Duncan R A, 1986. Geology and petrogenesis of lavas from San Cristobal Island, Galapagos archipelago. Geol Soc Amer Bull, 97: 555-566.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

McBirney A R, Williams H, 1969. Geology and petrology of the Galapagos Islands. Geol Soc Amer Mem, 118: 1-197.

Simkin T, 1984. Geology of Galapagos Islands. In: Perry R (ed) {Galapagos}, Oxford: Pergamon, p 15-41.

White W M, McBirney A R, Duncan R A, 1993. Petrology and geochemistry of the Galapagos Islands: Portrait of a pathological mantle plume. J Geophys Res, 98: 19,533-19,563.

The Global Volcanism Program is not aware of any Holocene eruptions from San Cristóbal. If this volcano has had large eruptions (VEI >= 4) prior to 10,000 years ago, information might be found on the San Cristóbal page in the LaMEVE (Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions) database, a part of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).

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.




Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Azul, Cerro Cone
Brujo, Cerro Tuff cone
Chivo, Cerro Cone
Kicker Rock Tuff cone
Leon Dormiente, El Tuff cone
Mundo, Cerro Cone
Patricio, Cerro Cone

Photo Gallery

The NW coast of San Cristóbal Island contains numerous young pyroclastic cones, spatter vents, and lava flows. The island consists of a densely vegetated SW part and a lower, younger NE part with many extremely youthful lava flows. The tip of Kicker Rock, two steep-cliffed islands separated by a narrow cleft, is barely visible on the center horizon. Kicker Rock is an eroded remnant of a tuff cone that forms one of the scenic highlights of the Galápagos, 5 km off the west coast of San Cristóbal.

Photo by Ed Vicenzi, 2002 (Smithsonian Institution).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 8 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 118122-1 E
NMNH 118122-2 E
NMNH 118122-3 E
NMNH 118122-4 E
NMNH 118122-5 E
NMNH 118122-6 E
NMNH 118122-7 E
NMNH 118122-8 E

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of San Cristóbal Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.