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Melilite-nephelinite lava flow, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.

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Photo ID: 544
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Photo Title: Melilite-nephelinite lava flow, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
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Keywords:
melilite-nephelinite lava flow, gran canaria, canary islands, post roque nublo, lava flow, intra canyon flow, roque redondo, caldera de tirajana, pico de las nieves, los pechos formation, fine grained, aphanitic, low silica, dunite,
Description:
The rocks pictured here are the remains of a small intra canyon lava flow of up to 15 metres thick, that may have extended some 10 km into the then embryonic Caldera de Tirajana and was emitted from a small cone close by, known as the Roque Redondo (1919 m). Today, as the surrounding landforms have been eroded away this formation stands up alone on top of the upper rim of the Caldera de Tirajana’s northern escarpment, some 2 km east of Pico de Las Nieves, Gran Canaria’s highest point (1949m) The lava flow of Melilite-nephelinite composition dates back to the upper ‘post Roque Nublo’ volcanic period (1.89 – 0.35 my), and forms part of the Los Pechos formation dated as between 1.5 and 1.8 million years old. Melilite-nephelinite is of a very rare type of lava of ultra-basic composition and of very low silica content. The rock is extremely fine grained (aphanitic) and contains nodules of un-melted dunite brought up from the Earth’s mantle. See also associated images of Melilite-nephelinite dike and close up of rock samples.
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