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Caldera de Tejeda fault, Barranco de Tirajana, Gran Canaria.

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Photo ID: 624
Gallery ID: 62
Photo Title: Caldera de Tejeda fault, Barranco de Tirajana, Gran Canaria.
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Keywords:
caldera de tejeda fault, caldera de tejeda wall, caldera de tejeda, caldera, miocene caldera, barranco de tirajana, gran canaria, atlantic islands, volcanic islands, atlantic ocean, oceanic islands, canyon, barranco, gorge, erosion, trachy-rhyolitic ignimbrites, mogan formation, ring fractures, fataga formation, phonolite, lava flows, pyroclastic flows,
Description:
This part of the Barranco (canyon) de Tirajana is specially interesting in that the erosion has revealed part of the most dramatic geological history of the island of Gran Canaria. Some 14.1 million years ago, there was a catastrophic volcanic explosion, which created an elliptical caldera, 18 x 28 kilometres in size and up to 1000 metres deep, the Caldera de Tejeda. Over the following million years eruptions continued at intervals of 30 – 50,000 years from ring fractures around the caldera’s periphery, largely refilling this caldera with trachy-rhyolitic ignimbrites and rare lava flows, which is known as the Mogan formation. Then at around 13 million years ago, there was a resurgence of the island’s volcanism comprising of magmas of a chemically different composition and which instead of the eruptions being from ring fractures inside the caldera’s periphery, the focal point of activity moved to the centre of the caldera, with the formation of a high stratovolcano. The ignimbrites and lava flows emitted from this volcano between 13 and 9 million years ago, at intervals of around 50,000 years, were to completely bury most of the remains of the caldera and overflow its flanks, building huge accumulations of lava flows which reached the coastline to the north and south of the island. This image is of the south western wall of the Barranco de Tirajana, just south of the reservoir, where the outer Caldera de Tejeda wall has become visible as a result of extensive erosion, this being where the deep gulley is bottom right of image. The orange coloured rocks are hydrothermally oxidised, rhyolitic ignimbrites emitted from within the caldera de Tejeda and which overly 13.97 million year old rhyolite lava flow ‘VL’. These being on the intra caldera side and which are downfaulted by at least 50 metres to the same rocks located outside the caldera from where the image is taken. The rocks above the orange ignimbrites are younger Fataga Formation Trachy-phonolitic ignimbrites In the top right of the image below the palm grove is the dried out Tirajan reservoir. (July 2008)
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