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Ayacata, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.

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Photo ID: 879
Gallery ID: 62
Photo Title: Ayacata, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
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Keywords:
ayacata, gran canaria, canary islands, atlantic islands, macaronesia, volcanic islands, atlantic ocean, oceanic islands, central southern highlands, incredible rock formations, roque nublo breccia,
Description:
The small village of Ayacata consists of little more than a few houses, two restaurants and a church. It is a popular stop for tourists, being situated just below the Roque Nublo, the emblematic symbol of Gran Canaria, visited by thousands of tourists each year. Ayacata is located in the center of Gran Canaria at an altitude of 1300 metres above sea level. The incredible rock formations surrounding Ayacata are lithic rich pyroclastic deposits known as the Roque Nublo breccia, which were deposited between 3.9 and 3.0 million years ago, during a period when explosive vulcanian-phreatomagmatic eruptions dominated the Roque Nublo volcano’s activity. As these deposits became buried during subsequent eruptions, they were to become an integral part of the stratovolcano’s central cone, whose southern flank was situated over the top of where Ayacata is today, a central cone whose ever increasing height and steep flanks were to become unstable and begin to suffer from periodic collapses in the form of debris avalanches. Finally, at around 3 million years ago (the exact date is uncertain) as the volcano reached the peak of its evolution and having reached an estimated minimum altitude of between 2500 and 3000 metres, a catastrophic edifice failure occurred and the entire southern flank of the volcano collapsed in a giant debris avalanche, much of which was channeled down the area of today’s Barranco de Arguineguin. Some of these debris form giant dislodged blocks, which are very evident between Ayacata and Cruz Grande as are these rock formations in this image, which are the dislocated and fractured remains of thick sheets of pyroclastic breccia which once formed part of the volcano’s inner cone.
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