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The Canary Islands origin: a unifying model

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Anguita, Francisco and Hernán, F. (2000) The Canary Islands origin: a unifying model. Journal of volcanology and geothermal research, 103 . pp. 1-26. ISSN 0377-0273

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Official URL: http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/volgeores



Abstract

A new model, partially based on the three most widely cited previous hypotheses, is proposed to explain the genesis of the
Canary Islands. From the hotspot hypothesis it retains the notion that the islands originated from a thermal anomaly in the
mantle. From the propagating fracture hypothesis it takes the critical role of regional fractures in the onset of magmatism. The
uplifted block hypothesis contributes with the notion that the islands are in their present freeboard attitude due to the action of
tectonic forces.
The main drawbacks of the three preceding hypotheses are solved within this unifying approach: the thermal anomaly is an
upper mantle residue from an old plume, and therefore it does not carry (or does it in a highly diluted form) the typical
geophysical and geochemical plume signatures; the fractures are well developed on the continental and oceanic crust, but not in
the extremely thick sedimentary pile between the Canary Islands and Africa; and the Canary Islands uplift took place through
transpressive shears, and not by means of purely reverse faults. This unifying model, which integrates the thermal and tectonic
histories of the lithosphere and the sublithospheric mantle, is considered to be a valid approach to a number of volcanic areas
where, as has been highlighted in recent years, pure hotspot or pure fracture models are found wanting to explain oceanic or
(less frequently) continental volcanic lines.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Canary islands; Hotspots; Fracture magmatism
Subjects:Sciences > Geology
ID Code:25618
Deposited On:28 May 2014 12:02
Last Modified:28 May 2014 12:02

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