Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 503–518 | Cite as

Pyroclastic flows and lavas of the Mogan and Fataga formations, Tejeda Volcano, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands: mineral chemistry, intensive parameters, and magma chamber evolution

  • Joy A. Crisp
  • Frank J. Spera


The Mogan and Fataga formations on the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, represent a sequence of approximately 30 intercalated pyroclastic and lava flows (total volume about 500 km3 dense-rock equivalent) including subalkaline rhyolitic, peralkaline rhyolitic and trachytic pyroclastic flows, nepheline trachyte lavas and a small volume of alkali basaltic lavas and tephra deposits. The eruption of the intermediate to silicic rocks of the Mogan and Fataga formations follows the roughly 4 Ma duration of basaltic shield volcanism. The most common assemblage in the evolved (Mogan and Fataga) rocks is anorthoclase+ edenitic amphibole+ilmenite+magnetite±augite±hypersthene +apatite+pyrrhotite. A few flows also contain plagioclase, biotite, or sphene. Coexisting Fe-Ti oxides yield equilibrium temperatures between 835 and 930° C and log\(f_{O_2 } \) between −11.2 and −12.6. The lowermost pyroclastic flow of the Mogan formation is zoned from a rhyolitic base (848° C) to a basaltic top (931° C). Unit P1 has an oxygen isotope feldspar-magnetite temperature (850° C) very close to its Fe-Ti oxide temperature. One of the youngest Mogan flows is zoned from a comendite (836° C) at the base to a comenditic trachyte (899° C) at the top. The Fataga formation pyroclastic flows show only slight compositional zonation, and one flow has the same Fe-Ti oxide compositions at top and base.

Calculations using the reaction 1/3 magnetite+SiO2 (melt)=ferrosilite+1/6 O2 indicate total pressures of 1–4 (±3) kb for six of the Mogan flows and one of the Fataga flows. For four of the pyroclastic flows, equilibria involving tremolite-SiO2-diopside-enstatite-H2O and phlogopite-SiO2-sanidine-enstatite-H2O imply water contents of 0.9 to 2.6 (±0.5) wt% and\(f_{H_2 O} \) between 80 and 610 bars, which indicates that magma within the Tejeda reservoir was H2O-undersaturated throughout the entire history of Mogan to Fataga volcanism. The fluorine contents of amphibole, biotite, and apatite, and chlorine contents of apatite reveal thatfHF/\(f_{H_2 O} \) andfHCl/\(f_{H_2 O} \) high compared to most igneous rocks and are consistent with the peralkaline nature of most of the volcanics. ThefHCl estimate for one flow is 10−2 to 10−1 bars andfHF for six of the flows ranges from about 10−1 to 6 bars. Pyrrhotite compositions yield estimates for log\(f_{S_2 } \) between −1 and −3, log\(f_{SO_2 } \) between −2 and 1.5, and log\(f_{H_2 S} \) between 0.5 and 3, which fall in the range of most intermediate to silicic systems. The lack of a systematic trend with time for magma composition, Fe-Ti oxide temperatures, water contents, phenocryst abundances, and ferromagnesian phase composition indicate that the Tejeda magmatic system was open and kept at nearly the same conditions by the periodic addition of more primitive melts.

The intensive thermodynamic parameters estimated from coexisting phenocryst equilibria are used to constrain the eruption dynamics based on solution of the conservation equations for a vapor plus pyroclast mixture. The estimates of magma reservoir temperature, pressure, and water concentration, when combined with a one-dimensional fluid dynamical model of a pyroclastic eruption, imply that the velocities of the ash flows at the vent exit were on the order of 100 to 200 m s−1, and the mass flow rates were about 107 kg s−1 for an assumed vent radius of 10 m.


Apatite Tephra Canary Island Nepheline Pyroclastic Flow 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joy A. Crisp
    • 1
  • Frank J. Spera
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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