Dating the Teide Volcanic Complex: Radiometric and Palaeomagnetic Methods

  • Hervé Guillou
  • Catherine Kissel
  • Carlo Laj
  • Juan Carlos Carracedo
Part of the Active Volcanoes of the World book series (AVOLCAN)


This chapter describes the integration of radiometric dating and palaeomagnetic investigations to decipher the spatial and temporal evolution of volcanic edifices of Tenerife Island. Accurate ages are crucial to reconstruct the recent eruptive history of Tenerife (specifically Teide Volcano and the North West and North East Rift Zones). Samples have been dated using both the K–Ar and the 40Ar/39Ar method in order to assess the reliability of the ages obtained. When the two methods yielded similar results and precision, accurate pooled ages were calculated. The correlation of these ages with the geomagnetic polarity of the lavas (referred to as the geomagnetic and astronomical polarity time scales) has recently been successfully applied to establish the magnetic stratigraphy of volcanoes in the Canary Islands and to constrain the main geological units. Moreover, this well-constrained and high resolution geochronological framework is of prime interest to track and study geomagnetic reversals and excursions. As an example, results are presented from three lava flows in Tenerife from the Mono Lake geomagnetic excursion, the youngest in the documented geological record.


Lava Flow Mono Lake Geomagnetic Reversal Auckland Volcanic Field Geomagnetic Excursion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hervé Guillou
    • 1
  • Catherine Kissel
    • 1
  • Carlo Laj
    • 1
  • Juan Carlos Carracedo
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de L’Environnement/IPSL (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ)Gif sur YvetteFrance
  2. 2.Departamento de Física (GEOVOL)Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaLas Palmas de Gran CanariaSpain

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