International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 1053–1064 | Cite as

The growth, collapse and quiescence of Teno volcano, Tenerife: new constraints from paleomagnetic data

  • R. LeonhardtEmail author
  • H. C. Soffel
Original Paper


Tenerife basically consists of three Miocene shield volcanoes, the Anaga, the Teno and Central shield, as well as the Pliocene Cañadas volcano. The temporal evolution and structural significance of each volcano with respect to the history of Tenerife is still a matter of debate. We present paleomagnetic results in order to enhance the view of the volcanic history of the Teno volcano by means of magnetostratigraphy. It is found that the initial subaerial phase shows reverse magnetizations throughout. After two major sector collapses, dominantly normally magnetized lavas extruded. Comparisons of observed magnetic polarities with the geomagnetic polarity timescale show that these volcanic activities occurred within 0.4 Myr between 6.3 and 5.9 Ma. Significantly younger flows, ∼ 5.3 Myr old according to their radiometric age, revealed again normal polarity throughout. The absence of inversely magnetized lavas in-between the two normal periods indicates a volcanic hiatus or erosional phase. The evolutionary sequence and the estimated high production rates for the initial building phase are similar as would be expected for a hotspot volcano. The average geomagnetic field for 6.0 ± 0.2 Ma is close to an axial dipole field showing a slight far-sided/right-handed effect. The field strength, determined by Thellier-type intensity determinations, corresponds to a virtual axial dipole moment of 4.9 × 1022 A m2. This value is approximately half of the present day field strength, but similar to values obtained for the mid-Miocene. It also corresponds to the proposed tertiary low-field level of the geomagnetic dipole moment.


Paleomagnetism Magnetostratigraphy Absolute paleointensity Tenerife Teno volcano 



We would like to thank the Medio Ambiente de Tenerife for sampling permission. We are particularly grateful to Juan Carlos Carracedo for his support prior and during the field work and his very helpful comments during preparation of this manuscript. We would like to thank Thomas Walter for his constructive review. Jürgen Matzka and Felix Hufenbecher are acknowledged for their field assistance. Suzan Emiroglu did part of the measurements. We profited from many discussions with David Krása and Christoph Heunemann. Sampling was funded by the German Science Foundation (So72/67-2,3).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Earth and Environmental SciencesLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMunichGermany

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