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Melilite-nephelinite rock sample, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.

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Photo ID: 545
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Photo Title: Melilite-nephelinite rock sample, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
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Keywords:
melilite-nephelinite rock, melilite-nephelinite lava, 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:
Close up image of the melilite-nephelinite rock from the small lava flow originating from the Roque Redondo area, some 2 km east of Pico de Las Nieves, Gran Canaria’s highest point (1949m) This lava flow 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 of around 37%, having undergone no differentiation at all during its rise to the surface. Although similar to the older rift nephelinites, these contain melilite and perowskite in the groundmass and are much more enriched in incompatible elements.(Geological Field Guide Gran Canaria, H.U. Schmincke - 1990) This rock is of a medium gray colour and extremely fine grained (aphanitic) and contains nodules of un-melted dunite brought up from the Earth’s mantle as seen in the lower left side of this image. There are also very small microcrystals of olivine and of pyroxene.
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