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Essexite gabbro, Ayacata, Gran Canaria Canary Islands.

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Photo ID: 543
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Photo Title: Essexite gabbro, Ayacata, Gran Canaria Canary Islands.
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Keywords:
essexite gabbro, alkaline gabbro, gabbro, ayacata, roque nublo, gran canaria, canary islands.
Description:
Sample of essexite gabbro from a small outcrop located some 2.2 km above Ayacata. There are two areas where gabbros are to be found on Gran Canaria, the first being around the village of Las Lagunetas, in the Barranco de la Mina and the second on the roadside above Ayacata. Both of these gabbros are of different composition. The gabbro found in the Barranco de la Mina is an olivine gabbro, (no picture available) corresponding to a plutonic equivalent of basalt and it is not certain whether this is of Miocene age or of Roque Nublo age. It has however been assigned to early Roque Nublo cycle (4.6 – 3.9 my) and is thought to represent the remains of a magma chamber associated with the very early Roque Nublo magmatics of basaltic and trachybasaltic composition. Furthermore, these gabbros are unlikely to be of Miocene age, firstly because their geographical position is rather far away from the magma chamber associated with the early shield volcano and that the Magmas of that cycle had differentiated to trachytes and phonolites with associated syenitic plutonic rocks. The gabbro in this image is an alkaline gabbro of Roque Nublo age, which is exposed at 2.2 Km above the village of Ayacata within large breccia blocks which form part of the dislodged Roque Nublo intracrater intrusive complex, resulting from a catastrophic edifice failure when the entire southern flank of the Roque Nublo volcano collapsed in a giant debris avalanche around 3 million years ago (the exact date is uncertain) This is a granular rock consisting of Ti-augite, olivine rimmed by biotite, plagioclase rimmed by alkali feldspar, magnetite, nepheline and hauyne. (Ref- Geological Field Guide, Gran Canary – H.U Schminke) SiO2 – 44.80%, Al2O3 – 15.98%, Fe2O3 – 4.20%, FeO – 6.09%, MgO – 4.39%, CaO – 8.76%, Na2O – 4.94%, K2O – 2.55%, MnO – 0.20%, TiO2 – 3.57%, P2O5 – 1.22%, H2O – 1.89%.
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