Philatelic Aspects of Ascension

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Introduction to Geology

Ascension Island lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the rocky plates carrying Africa and Europe are pulling away from those carrying North and South America.

This allows molten rock to push up from below, eventually breaking above the sea to form the volcanic islands we know as Iceland, the Azores, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Ascension.

So the creation of Ascension Island began many thousands of years ago when the small volcanic peak that is now Green Mountain first rose above the waves of the South Atlantic Ocean. It now rises to 2,817 feet above sea level, but it's base goes down to about 10,000 feet beneath the sea's surface.

Green Mountain, first part of the island to appear.

Copyright © 2000, Neil MacFall
Created by Stephen C Fowler
Last revised on the 16th of July 2000