New sonar evidence for recent catastrophic collapses of the north flank of Tenerife, Canary Islands

Watts, A.; Masson, D.. 2001 New sonar evidence for recent catastrophic collapses of the north flank of Tenerife, Canary Islands. Bulletin of Volcanology, 63 (1). 8-19.

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Previous sonar surveys show that the north flank of Tenerife has been subject to at least four major landslides during the past 1 Ma. The youngest, Icod, affected the region to the north of the Teide-Pico Viejo complex, the world's third highest oceanic volcano. Recently, we obtained the first detailed acoustic images of Icod using a deep-tow side-scan sonar. The images suggest that Tenerife's north flank has experienced at least two types of flow deposit in the recent past. The older flow deposit, Icod I, is characterised by a 15- to 20-km-wide, >65-km-long, chaotic debris avalanche deposit which includes several very large blocks. We believe the deposit to be ~170 ka, and that it represents the mass-wasting products of the Cañadas edifice, remnants of which are now found in the Las Cañadas caldera wall. The younger flow deposit, Icod II, associated with a shute in its proximal part, appears to have produced a less chaotic deposit in its distal part which clearly preserves flow structures such as latitudinal boulder ridges and longitudinal shear structures. The sonar images cannot determine how much younger Icod II is than Icod I, although it is likely that they are a consequence of the same lateral collapse event. There is evidence from the shute area for erosional scour and sediment deposition since the Icod landslide. If this is correct, then it suggests that mass wasting is an ongoing process that has already started to modify the Teide-Pico Viejo complex itself.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0258-8900
Additional Keywords: Volcanoes, Landslides, Debris avalanches, Calderas, Canary Islands
Date made live: 11 Sep 2008 +0 (UTC)

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