How Volcanoes Work

 Image Described in Caption
Galapagos Shield Volcanoes -- The Galapagos Islands lie 1,200 kilometers west of Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. They are best known from their remarkable fauna which played a key role in developing Charles Darwin's ideas on species evolution. The J-shaped outline of Isabela Island is shown here. The island is composed of coalesced shield volcanoes, each delineated by large calderas at their summits. Since Darwin first visited the islands in 1835, there have been over 60 recorded eruptions on six Galapagos shield volcanoes. Courtesy of JPL/NASA.