Publication: Volcanic complexes in the eastern ridge of the Canary Islands: the Miocene activity of the island of Fuerteventura
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Elsevier Science Publishers
Fuerteventura has been since early stages of its growth the result of three different adjacent large volcanic complexes: Southern, Central and Northern. The definition of these volcanic complexes and their respective growing episodes is based on volcano-stratigraphic, morphological and structural criteria, particularly radial dyke swarms. Each complex has its own prolonged history that might be longer than 10 m.y. During that time, several periods of activity alternating with gaps accompanied by important erosion took place. The evolution of each volcanic complex has been partially independent but all the three are affected by at least three Miocene tectonic phases that controlled considerably their activity. The volcanic complexes are deeply eroded and partially submerged. In the core of the Northern and the Central volcanic complexes there is a set of submarine and plutonic rocks intensely traversed by a dyke swarm, known as the Basal Complex. The Basal Complex has been interpreted in different ways but all previous authors have considered it to be prior to the subaerial shield stage of the island. Here we advance the idea that the Basal Complex represent the submarine growing stage of the volcanic complexes and the hypabyssal roots (plutons and dykes) of their successive subaerial growing episodes. Two seamounts situated nearby, southwest of the island, might be interpreted as remains of two other major volcanoes. These two volcanoes, together with those forming the present emerged island of Fuerteventura, and finally those of Famara and Los Ajaches situated further north on Lanzarote constitute a chain of volcanoes located along a lineation which is subparallel to the northwestern African coastline and which may relate to early Atlantic spreading trends in the area.