Advertisement

Geomorphologic Evidences of Great Flank Collapses in the Northwest of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain)

  • Jorge Yepes Temiño
  • Nieves Sánchez
  • Martín Jesús Rodríguez-Peces
  • Inés Galindo
  • Rodrigo del Potro
Chapter

Abstract

This work provides geological observations that support the existence of several large rock slides in the northwest sector of the Gran Canaria Island, which are now covered by recent lavas. Some erosional forms has been identified: a paleo-relief developed in Pliocene volcanic materials which could be related to a large rock slide, a number of streams with strong incision and sharp diversions which are related to the flanks of the fractured rock mass, a clear topographical unconformity between the oldest erosion surfaces, as well as a prior secondary scarp near de coastal border. Moreover, we have identified some aggradational morphologies: a debris avalanche deposit covering the offshore area of the island, several scoria cones which are developed following the main scarp of the rock slide and a field of volcanoes which covers the foot of the slide in the onshore part of the island. These observations confirm the existence of some large rock slides that affect successively the NW flank of Gran Canaria during the Miocene to Pliocene. These flank instabilities suggest a NE-SW extensional regime, which could be related to a NW-SE fault zone that divides the island into two sectors. This hypothesis is in agreement with the spreading process which has been proposed for other volcanic islands.

Keywords

Canary Islands Flank collapse Gran Canaria Pliocene Quaternary Rock slide Volcanic rock 

References

  1. Acosta J, Uchupi E, Muñoz A, Herranz P, Palomo C, Ballesteros M, ZEE Working Group (2003) Geologic evolution of the Canarian Islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and La Gomera and comparison of landslides at these islands with those at Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro. Mar Geophys Res 24:1–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ancochea E, Barrera JL, Bellido F, Benito R, Brändle JL, Cebriá JM, Coello J, Cubas CR, De La Nuez J, Doblas M, Gómez JA, Hernán F, Herrera R, Huertas MJ, López-Ruiz J, Martí J, Muñoz M, Sagredo J (2004) Canarias y el vulcanismo neógeno peninsular. In: Vera JA (ed) Geología de España. IGME-SGE, Madrid, pp 637–671Google Scholar
  3. Balcells R, Barrera JL, Gómez JA (1986) Mapa Geológico de España 1:25.000, hoja nº 1100 (Agaete). IGME, MadridGoogle Scholar
  4. Balcells R, Barrera JL (1987a) Mapa Geológico de España 1:25.000, hoja nº 1101 III-IV (Arucas). IGME, MadridGoogle Scholar
  5. Balcells R, Barrera JL (1987b) Mapa Geológico de España 1:25.000, hoja nº 1109 IV (Teror). IGME, MadridGoogle Scholar
  6. Balcells R, Barrera JL, Gómez Saínz JA, Hernán F, Schmincke H, Merlos A, Ruiz M, Brändle J, Meco J, Vidal Romaní JR (1992) Mapa Geológico de España 1:100.000, hoja nº 21-22 (Gran Canaria). IGME, MadridGoogle Scholar
  7. Barrera JL, Gómez JA (1986) Mapa Geológico de España 1:25.000, hoja nº 1108 I (Vecindad de Enfrente). IGME, MadridGoogle Scholar
  8. Borgia A, Delaney PT, Denlinger P (2000) Spreading volcanoes. Annu Rev Earth Pl Sci 28:359–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carracedo JC, Perez Torrado FJ, Ancochea E, Meco J, Hernan F, Cubas CR, Casillas R, Rodríguez-Badiola E, Ahijado A (2002) In: Gibbons W, Moreno T (eds) The geology of Spain. Geological Society, London, pp 439–472Google Scholar
  10. Cecchi E, van Wyk de Vries B, Lavest J (2005) Flank spreading and collapse of weak-cored volcanoes. Bull Volcanol 67:72–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clague DA, Denlinger RP (1994) Role of olivine cumulates in destabilizing the flanks of Hawaiian volcanoes. Bull Volcanol 56:425–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coello Bravo JJ, Coello Bravo FJ (1999) El arco del Andén Verde, a big gravitational landslide in the northwestern coast of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). Geogaceta 25:67–70Google Scholar
  13. Criado C, Hansen A, Martín Artiles A (1998) Imbricación de procesos de vertiente, torrenciales y eólicos en el oeste de Gran Canaria: la génesis de la punta de las Arenas. In: Gómez Ortiz A, Salvador French F (eds) Investigaciones recientes de la Geomorfología española, Barcelona, pp 357–366Google Scholar
  14. Day SJ, Carracedo JC, Guillou H, Gravestock P (1999) Recent structural evolution of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands: volcanic rift zone reconfiguration as a precursor to volcano flank instability? J Volcanol Geoth Res 94:135–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Del Potro R, Hürlimann M (2007) Strength of volcanic rock masses in edifice instability: insights from Teide, Tenerife. In: Malheiro AM, Nunes JC (eds) Volcanic rocks. Taylor & Francis, London, pp 175–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elsworth D, Voight B (1995) Dike intrusion as a trigger for large earthquakes and the failure of volcano flanks. J Volcanol Geoth Res 100:6005–6024Google Scholar
  17. Funck T, Schmincke HU (1998) Growth and destruction of Gran Canaria deduced from seismic reflection and bathymetric data. J Geophys Res 103:15393–15407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Galindo I (2005) Estructura volcano-tectónica y emisión difusa de gases de Tenerife (islas Canarias), Ph.D. thesis, University of Barcelona, Spain, 398 ppGoogle Scholar
  19. Galindo RE, Sánchez N, Benavides A, González Fernández I, Cruz T (2011) Estudio hidrogeológico de la zona norte de Gran Canaria. IGME, Madrid (in press)Google Scholar
  20. García Cacho L, Díez-Gil JL, Araña V (1994) A large volcanic debris avalanche in the Pliocene Roque Nublo Stratovolcano, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. J Volcanol Geoth Res 63:217–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Guillou H, Pérez Torrado FJ, Hansen Machín AR, Carracedo JC, Gimeno D (2004) The plio-Quaternary evolution of Gran Canaria based on new K-Ar ages and magnetostratigraphy. J Volcanol Geoth Res 135:221–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hansen Machín A (2009) Volcanología y geomorfología de la etapa de rejuvenecimiento Plio-Pleistocena de Gran Canaria (Islas Canarias). Ph.D. thesis, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (In edit)Google Scholar
  23. Krastel S, Schminke HU, Jacobs CL, Rihm R, Le Bas TP, Alibés B (2001) Submarine landslides around the Canary Islands. J Geophys Res 106:3977–3997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lo Giudice E, Rasa R (1992) Very shallow earthquakes and brittle deformation in active volcanic areas. The Etna region as an example. Tectonophysics 202:257–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McGuire WJ, Pullen AD, Saunders SJ (1990) Recent dyke-induced large-scale block movement at Mount Etna and potential slope failure. Nature 343:357–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mehl KW, Schmincke HU (1999) Structure and emplacement of the Pliocene Roque Nublo debris avalanche deposit, Gran Canaria, Spain. J Vol Geoth Res 94:105–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Menéndez I, Silva PG, Martín-Betancor M, Pérez Torrado FJ, Guillou H, Scaillet S (2008) Fluvial dissection, isostatic uplift, and geomorphological evolution of volcanic islands (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain). Geomorphology 102:189–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pérez Torrado FJ, Carracedo JC, Mangas J (1995) Geochronology and stratigraphy of the Roque Nublo Cycle, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. J Geol Soc London 152:807–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pérez Torrado FJ (2008) Geología de Gran Canaria. Sociedad Geológica de España, Geo-Guías 5:27–39Google Scholar
  30. Reid ME, Sisson TW, Brien DL (2001) Volcano collapse promoted by hydrothermal alteration and edifice shape. Mount Rainier, Washington. Geology 29:779–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schmincke HU (1993) Geological field guide of Gran Canaria. Pluto-Press, 227 ppGoogle Scholar
  32. Schmincke HU, Sumita M (2010) Geological evolution of the Canary Islands. Görres-Verlag, 196 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Wyk de Vries B, Francis PW (1997) Catastrophic collapse at stratovolcanoes induced by gradual volcano spreading. Nature 387:387–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Voight B, Elsworth D (1997) Failure of volcano slopes. Géotechnique 47:1–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yepes J, Rodríguez-Peces MJ, del Potro R (2011) Morphological evidence of a large collapse on the north-western flank of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). Geophys Res, Abstracts 13, EGU2011-13060Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Yepes Temiño
    • 1
  • Nieves Sánchez
    • 2
  • Martín Jesús Rodríguez-Peces
    • 3
  • Inés Galindo
    • 2
  • Rodrigo del Potro
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  2. 2.Unit of Canary IslandsGeological Survey of Spain (IGME)Las Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain
  3. 3.Department of GeodynamicsUniversity Complutense of MadridMadridSpain
  4. 4.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations