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Roque Bentaiga & the Three Kings, Gran Canaria, Canary islands.

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Photo ID: 807
Gallery ID: 62
Photo Title: Roque Bentaiga & the Three Kings, Gran Canaria, Canary islands.
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Keywords:
roque bentaiga, the three kings, gran canaria, canary islands, macaronesia, atlantic islands, oceanic islands, volcanic islands, volcanic monolith, tejeda, caldera de tejeda, dramatic, beautiful, natural phenomena, mesa del junquillo, shield volcano, stratovolcano, roque nublo volcano, roque nublo breccia, lava flow, pyroclastic breccia, ignimbrite, strombolian cone, basaltic dike, phonolitic dike, fissure vent, strombolian cone, extensive erosion, volcanic cycle, erosive cycle, cone sheet, syenite stock, ignimbrites, el chorrillo,
Description:
The Roque Bentaiga to the right of the image and the Three Kings center- left, seen from the village of El chorrillo, are one of Gran Canaria’s most beautiful natural phenomena. Resulting from extensive erosion of differing volcanic materials, the largest monolith to the right, the Roque Bentaiga is composed of layers of lava flows emitted by the Roque Nublo stratovolcano sometime around 3.9 – 4.6 million years ago and is capped by breccia-type pyroclastic deposits that were emitted from the same volcano later, between 3.9 and 3 million years ago. The smaller rock to its left is composed only of eroded lava flows. The two red coloured rock formations to the left are the highly eroded remains of the inside of the crater belonging to a large strombolian cone that had formed on the south western flank of the Roque Nublo stratovolcano. The red rocks are composed of intra crater breccias and debris, scoria and bombs, these vivid red tones created by the oxidisation of iron within the rocks by the residual hot, water vapour rich gases escaping from the crater after the eruptions had ceased. The two lower monoliths are also cut by basaltic and phonolitic dikes of Roque Nublo age. The yellowish and white rock formations below the Roque Bentaiga are geologically very complex since this strombolian cone and the Roque Bentaiga, stand exactly on top of the focal point of the previously emplaced plutonic syenites and cone sheet intrusions. The formations below are comprised of a complex mixture of layers of fallout pumice, epiclastic materials and the Miocene Caldera de Tejeda intra caldera ignimbrites, which were intruded into by syenite stocks and then structurally uplifted by as much as 1400 metres by the cone sheet swarm, prior to the formation of the Roque Bentaiga. Some of the lower outcrops of solid rock and those of darker colour closer to the village are of syenites and trachytic dikes that have intruded into the intra caldera fill and been exposed millions of years later by erosion. The village of El Chorrillo is one of a number of small villages which are located in very remote places within the deep canyons of the south west of Gran Canaria. This is possibly the most remote of all, located within the Barranco del Chorrillo.
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