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


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.


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


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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

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