Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 72, Issue 8, pp 971–990 | Cite as

Structure and evolution of the Rockeskyllerkopf Volcanic Complex, West Eifel Volcanic Field, Germany

  • Cliff S. J. Shaw
  • Alan B. Woodland
  • Jens Hopp
  • Nesha D. Trenholm
Research Article


The Rockeskyllerkopf Volcanic Complex (RVC) comprises three overlapping monogenetic volcanic centers: Southeast Lammersdorf (SEL), Mäuseberg (M) and Rockeskyllerkopf (RKK). Each volcanic center comprises proximal wall deposits with a well defined crater wall unconformity and crater fill deposits that partially to completely cover the outer crater wall. The SEL Center is a phreatomagmatic tuff ring composed of lithic rich tephra deposited by pyroclastic falls and surges. The second center, Mäuseberg, with its crater to the northwest of the SEL Center is predominantly magmatic. Topographic and outcrop patterns suggest that this center may have formed a series of overlapping scoria cones along a N–S trending fissure. The youngest center, RKK, which lies on a poorly developed palaeosol within the earlier Mäuseberg deposits, comprises a well developed proximal crater wall sequence. This sequence of magmatic, likely Strombolian, fall and grain avalanche deposits passes upward into a crater fill sequence that comprises variably welded bombs. The final eruptions in the center were massive lava flows that were ponded within the RKK crater. Ar–Ar age dating of reequilibrated fragments of phlogopite megacrysts in the SEL lavas indicates volcanic activity began at 474 ± 39 ka. Literature K–Ar dates for the youngest lava flows in the RKK Center give ages of 360 ± 60 to 470 ka. Our interpretation of the age data and the presence of the poorly developed palaeosol between the Mäuseberg and RKK centers indicates that volcanism in the RVC began around 470 ka with the eruption of the SEL and Mäuseberg centers followed a few thousand years later by the eruption of the RKK Center.


West Eifel Germany Monogenetic volcanism Quaternary Phreatomagmatic eruptions 



CS thanks the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for support. We acknowledge funding from NSERC (CS) and DFG (ABW) that supported the research presented here. We thank Audrey Avison, Samantha and Tabitha Shaw, Sarah and Gareth Woodland for their help in the field. Gareth Woodland collected Rocko 1 and Nicole Huber painstakingly separated Rocko 2. The hospitality and logistical help of Dr. P. Bitchene and P. Bartlick is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks also to J. Heliosch and A. Murphy, for assistance with sample preparation and to the students from the 2005 and 2009 Frankfurt field schools for their hard work in collecting and sieving samples. We are very grateful to H-U Schmincke and A. Klügel for their very thorough and helpful reviews. Also thanks to Associate Editor M.A. Clynne for comments and suggestions on the Ar–Ar data.

Supplementary material

445_2010_380_MOESM1_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Electronic Appendix 1 Ar–Ar age dating data (DOC 52 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cliff S. J. Shaw
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alan B. Woodland
    • 1
  • Jens Hopp
    • 3
  • Nesha D. Trenholm
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Geowissenschaften, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätAbt. Physikalisch-Chemische MineralogieFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  3. 3.Mineralogisches InstitutUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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