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Miocene rock formations, Playa de Tasarte, Gran Canaria, Canary islands.

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Photo ID: 467
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Photo Title: Miocene rock formations, Playa de Tasarte, Gran Canaria, Canary islands.
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Keywords:
miocene rock formations, playa de tasarte, gran canaria, canary islands, miocene rock, xenolith rich basaltic ignimbrite, ignimbrite p1, basaltic ignimbrite p1, ignimbrite, caldera de tejeda, miocene caldera, explosive eruption, differentiation, crystallization, trachyte, rhyolite, basalt, peralcaline rhyolite, lava flow, lava flow vl,
Description:
These very colourful cliffs to the east side of the Playa de Tasarte were deposited between 14.1 and 13.95 million years ago. The lower reddish-purple coloured layer is that of a very rare type of highly welded, xenolith rich basaltic ignimbrite, which was emitted during the most dramatic event in the volcanic history of Gran Canaria, when, at 14.1 million years ago a cataclysmic volcanic explosion sent 80 cubic kilometres of ash, rock fragments and burning clouds of pulverised magma into the air, covering 400 Km2 of the island in a composite rhyolitic – trachytic – basaltic ignimbrite. The scale of the eruption was such that the magma chamber was emptied so quickly, that the basaltic magma which had only just intruded into the upper, highly differentiated layered trachy-rhyolitic chamber was also emitted explosively, accumulating large amounts of lithic fragments from a now disintegrating central portion of the island, together with rhyolitic fragments and crystals. This lower layer is therefore the last material to have been emitted during this explosive sequence. During and following this, the island’s summits collapsed into the now empty magma chamber, creating an elliptical caldera estimated to have been 18 x 28 kilometres in size and 1000 metres deep. The upper pink-grey layer, overlying the pale yellow conglomerates is that of a later, peralcaline rhyolite lava flow (lava flow VL) emitted at around 13.97 million years ago.
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