Origin and formation of Tenerife

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A brief descriptio of the formation of Tenerife Island

Formazione TenerifeA brief report on the origin and formation of Tenerife:

Tenerife is a volcanic island, whose formation started on the bottom of the Atlantic, in a period between 10 and 15 million years ago. The formation starts together with the other Macaronesian islands. It is the only island whose formation contributed all three fault lines that act in the archipelago, and that converge here in the Cañadas del Teide.

During the first phase of formation of Tenerife, there was spillage of lava “pillow” by cracks on the seabed. Time after time, the piling up of lava raises the volcano, so the water pressure decreased allowing the release of gases and favouring explosive eruptions; so at the end, in the Miocene, the Island emerged.

In the second phase (or Series II), decreased volcanic activity and followed a long period of inactivity of about one million years. During this period the erosion takes over and originate deep canyons (barrancos).

The third phase, began about 3 million years ago, with the resumption of volcanic activity, this time only concerns the central part of the island. In this part, after various eruptions and subsequent collapses, rises a volcanic cones that probably reached the 5000 m height.

At the end of the formation of Tenerife, the amazing volcanic edifice, made unstable by the great height, collapsed. The collapse leaved the huge caldera that currently surrounds the Teide cone, which originated 200,000 years ago inside the caldera of the previous volcano.