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Welded tuff at Puerto Egas with ruin of 20th century salt mining facility


Note: Tuff is an igneous rock made from volcanic ash. Usually this ash is "felsic" in chemistry (i.e. has a high silica content). At Puerto Egas, it is mafic, with the same chemistry as adjacent basalt.
Island: Santiago
Location: Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Recent lava flow at Puerto Egas


Note: In 1835, Charles Darwin sketched Buccaneer Cove, where Puerto Egas was later built. He did not include this conspicuous lava flow, however. No record was made of the eruption that formed it, but it must have been subsequent to Darwin's visit. thus, these rocks are less than 172 years old.
Island: Santiago
Location: Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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The landing at Puerto Egas


Note: This harbor is the departure point for hikes to the grottos, but is also an outstanding snorkeling location.
Island: Santiago
Location: Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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The arid zone with palo santos


Note: This was the scene immediately inland from the landing.
Island: Santiago
Location: Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Impromptu soccer game between two tour vessel crews.


Note: The crew of the Millenium looked forward to its match with another crew. Several UMD students joined in.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Grasslands on the hike to the grottos


Note: Santiago has been transformed by the ravages of introduced goats. Picturesque meadows of annuals probably represent disturbed habitats.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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The Grottos - collapsed lava tubes


Note: The ocean washes dramatically into these collapsed lava tubes. Local wags refer to one smaller opening as "Darwin's toilet." Darwin did visit the spot, but there is no record of his having used the toilet.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Interfingered tuff and lava


Note: Alternating eruptions of ash and liquid magma have produced this interfingering. The putative culprit is "the sugarloaf" - the cinder cone in the background.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Fur sea lion at grottos


Note: Fur sea lions prefer rocky resting places while Galápagos sea lions prefer sandy beaches.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Students approach a male sea lion


Note: Probably not the smartest thing that happened that day. Galápagos animals may be naively fearless of humans but they aren't friendly either. This big guy was unperturbed by the approach of UMD students, but during mating season, he would probably be aggressive.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Returning from the grottos


Note: The UMD group is walking on a berm of shell hash and carbonate sand that has washed up above the swash zone, where bare basalt is exposed.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Returning from the grottos


Note:
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006


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Welded tuff


Note: Each layer represents a distinct eruption.
Island: Santiago
Location: Near Puerto Egas
Year: 2006