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Explosive felsic volcanism on El Hierro (Canary Islands)

AuthorsPedrazzi, Dario ; Becerril, Laura ; Martí Molist, Joan ; Meletlidis, S.; Galindo, I.
KeywordsVolcanic hazard
Explosive volcanism
Canary Islands
El Hierro
Issue Date2014
CitationBulletin of Volcanology, 76: 863 (2014)
Abstract© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The Canary Islands consist of seven basaltic shield volcanoes whose submerged portion is much more voluminous than the subaerial part of each island. Like so many other volcanic oceanic islands, the indicative deposits of explosive felsic volcanism are not a common feature on the Canary archipelago. Hitherto, they have only been documented from the central islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, which are the largest volcanic complexes of the islands. On the other Canary Islands, the presence of felsic rocks is mostly restricted to intrusions and a few lava flows, generally within the succession in the oldest parts of individual islands. In this paper, we present a detailed stratigraphic, lithological and sedimentological study of a significant felsic pumice deposit on the island of El Hierro, referred here as the Malpaso Member, which represents the only explosive episode of felsic volcanism found on the Canary Islands (outside of Gran Canaria and Tenerife). The products of the eruption indicate a single eruptive event and cover an area of about 15 km2. This work provides a detailed stratigraphic and chronological framework for El Hierro, and four subunits are identified within the member on the basis of lithological and granulometric characteristics. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of an explosive eruption in a setting where the activity is typified by effusive basaltic events. Given the style and the spatial distribution of the Malpaso eruption and its products, a future event with similar characteristics could have a serious impact on the population, infrastructure and economy of the island of El Hierro.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00445-014-0863-1
issn: 1432-0819
Appears in Collections:(Geo3Bcn) Artículos
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