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Wolf Island Island is a small island in the Galapagos Islandsmarker and was named after the Germanmarker geologist Theodor Wolf, who also has the volcano Wolfmarker on Isabela Island named after him. It has an area of 1.3 km¬≤ (0.5 mi¬≤) and a maximum altitude of 253 m (830 ft).

The island is remote from the main island group and has no permanent population, the Galapagos National Park does not allow landing on the island, however it is a popular diving location. It was previously called Wenman Island.


Wolf Island is the remains of an extinct volcano that reaches a maximum 253 meters above sea level, it is situated north west of the main Galapagos Island group on the Wolf-Darwin Lineament that extends from the Galapagos Platform to the Galapagos Spreading Center, a mid ocean ridge separating the Nazca and Cocos tectonic plates. Like its near neighbour Darwin Islandmarker, Wolf Island is upstream of the magma plume, in terms of plate movement, that forms the main Galapagos Islands and does not fit in with the formation of those islands. There are currently two theories on the formation of the lineament and therefore Wolf island: the first is that magma rising from the mantle plume forming the main Galapagos Islands has been channelled towards the Galapagos Spreading Center; alternatively there has been a separate rise in magma caused by stress in the ocean lithosphere by a transform fault. .

Wolf Island is the southerly island on the lineament. The volcano that formed Wolf Island is now extinct with last eruptions believed to have been 900,000‚Äď1,600,000 years ago , meaning the last eruptions occurred before the last eruptions on Darwin Island. The volcanic history of Wolf is complex, with at least two major eruptive phases. The southern area of the island is formed from flat basalt layers from two eruptive phases, the second of which formed a caldera that has now eroded. The lavas formed have been plagioclase ultraphyric basalts with large 4 cm crystals. This chemical makeup is similar to those found in lavas from the northern Galapagos Islands. The extent of the ultraphyric flows make up an unusually large percentage of the volume. There is large variation in the composition of the lavas between eruptive phases, with later flows being depleted.


Wolf Island is part of the Galapagos National Park, however, it is not accessible to land visits. Like its neighbour, Darwin, it is open to visits by scuba divers. The marine life of Wolf Island includes: schooling Hammerhead, Galapagos and occasionally Whale sharks, as well as Green Turtles, Manta Rays and other pelagic fish.

Birdlife on the island is abundant with Frigate; Red-footed boobys and the Vampire Finch are found on the island as well as other species.


  1. Galapagos Island Names
  2. Blair et al., Plume Ridge Interaction
  3. Cornell University
  4. Plume-Ridge Interaction in Magma Genesis II: Wolf Island
  5. Galapagos National Park Interactive Map

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