Potassium-Argon Ages from the Galápagos Islands

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Apr 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4238, pp. 465-467
DOI: 10.1126/science.192.4238.465


Potassium-argon ages of eight volcanic rocks from some of the geologically oldest flows exposed in the Galápagos Archipelago indicate that the Galápagos Islands have a probable maximum age of 3 million years. Rocks from six islands were dated; the oldest are from Española (3.2 ± 0.2), Sante Fe (2.7 ± 0.1), and Plazas (4.2 ± 1.8 million years). The new data suggest that the Galápagos Islands are younger than previously supposed on the basis of marine magnetic anomaly dating, but they are older than most previously dated rocks from the Galápagos.