Bulletin of Volcanology

, 75:734 | Cite as

Evaluation of morphometry-based dating of monogenetic volcanoes—a case study from Bandas del Sur, Tenerife (Canary Islands)

  • Gábor KereszturiEmail author
  • Adelina Geyer
  • Joan Martí
  • Károly Németh
  • F. Javier Dóniz-Páez
Research Article


Morphometry-based dating provides a first-order estimate of the temporal evolution of monogenetic volcanic edifices located within an intraplate monogenetic volcanic field or on the flanks of a polygenetic volcano. Two widely used morphometric parameters, namely cone height/width ratio (H max/W co) and slope angle, were applied to extract chronological information and evaluate their accuracy for morphometry-based ordering. Based on these quantitative parameters extracted from contour-based Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), two event orders for the Bandas del Sur in Tenerife (Canary Islands) were constructed and compared with the existing K-Ar, paleomagnetic and stratigraphic data. The results obtained suggest that the commonly used H max/W co ratio is not reliable, leading to inappropriate temporal order estimates, while the slope angle gives slightly better results. The overall performance of such descriptive parameters was, however, generally poor (i.e. there is no strong correlation between morphometry and age). The geomorphic/morphometric mismatches could be the result of (1) the diversity of syn-eruptive processes (i.e. diverse initial morphologies causing geomorphic/morphometric variability), (2) contrasting, edifice-specific degradation that depends partly upon the inner facies architecture of the volcanic edifices, (3) various external environmental controls (e.g. tephra mantling from pyroclastic density currents unrelated to the edifice evaluated) and (4) differences in the scale/resolution of input data. The observed degradation trend and changes in morphometric parameters over time do not support a simple degradation model for monogenetic scoria cones volcanoes.


Scoria cone Cinder cone Phreatomagmatism Monogenetic Volcanic chain Slope angle Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Height width ratio 



GK would like to thank to the PhD Research Fellowship offered by the Volcanic Risk Solutions group, Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University (New Zealand). This research was also partly supported by Department of Geology and Mineral Deposits, University of Miskolc (Hungary). AG is grateful for her Juan de la Cierva Grant (JCI-2010-06092). JM is grateful to the MICINN grant CGL2008-04264. Comments by Benjamin van Wyk de Vries, James D.L. White and by two anonymous reviewers are thanked. Unofficial reviews of the early manuscript by Adrian Pittari, Donald Hooper and Kate Arentsen significantly improved the quality of the text.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gábor Kereszturi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adelina Geyer
    • 2
  • Joan Martí
    • 2
  • Károly Németh
    • 1
  • F. Javier Dóniz-Páez
    • 3
  1. 1.Volcanic Risk SolutionsMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Earth Sciences ‘Jaume Almera’, CSICBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain

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