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Title: Lava deltas, a key landform in oceanic volcanic islands: El Hierro, Canary Islands
Authors: Rodríguez González, Alejandro 
Fernandez-Turiel, J. L.
Aulinas, M.
Cabrera Santana, María Del Carmen 
Prieto-Torrell, C.
Rodríguez, G. A.
Guillou, H.
Pérez Torrado, Francisco José 
UNESCO Clasification: 250621 Vulcanología
Keywords: Canary Islands
El Hierro
Insular Shelf
Lava Delta
Lava Flow, et al
Issue Date: 2022
Project: Project LAJIAL (ref. PGC2018-101027-B-I00, MCIU/AEI/FEDER, EU)
Journal: Geomorphology 
Abstract: Marine and subaerial erosion of volcanic ocean islands form coastal cliffs and shore platforms, particularly during stable sea levels. Posterosional lava flows can spill over these coastal cliffs and fill the platforms, leading to the progradation of lava deltas. This work aims to analyze this volcanic rocky coast setting at the island scale and to assess the volcanic constructional and erosive degradational effects on the coast at the scale of one volcanic edifice. El Hierro Island, Canary Islands, exemplifies a rocky coast with an active sea-cliff profile, reflecting its early evolutionary stage as a young ocean volcanic island with no fringing reef. The occurrence of a contemporary insular shelf formed during the Holocene sea-level highstand (<7 ka) allows constraining the ages of those eruptions forming lava deltas affecting this geomorphological landform. A detailed bathymetry around the island allowed us to distinguish 17 eruptions fulfilling this criterion. The Montaña del Tesoro, which occurred about 1050 years BP, is one of these eruptions and was selected as a case study for morphometric modeling integrating subaerial and submarine data at the scale of a volcanic edifice. This eruption was a Strombolian basaltic volcanic event that produced a scoria cone, pyroclastic fall deposits, and lava flows that reached the ocean in the eastern rift zone of El Hierro island. We combine field-based observations with topographic and bathymetric data analysis to reconstruct the pre- and post-eruption Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and, comparing with present-day DEM, to analyze morphometrically the influence of volcanism on the coastal landscape's development. The resulting landform complexity required the discretization of the lava field according to the coastline evolution and lava front sectors, and the subaerial or submarine lava placement. The pyroclastic materials' total erupted bulk volume (12,829,578 m3) corresponds to a volcanic eruption index (VEI) of 3. This event was primarily effusive. From a dense rock equivalent (DRE) volume of 25,615,424 m3, 87 % flowed as lava, 10 % formed the cinder cone, and 3 % the tephra fall deposits. We quantitatively demonstrate that dominant degradation occurs in the lava field, mainly disturbed by marine erosion. Marine erosion removed 9 % of the erupted volume of lava flows against 1 % by fluvial erosion. This work provides methods and results of great interest with different implications in oceanic volcanic islands, among which we can mention coastal planning (e.g., rock coast evolution) and volcanic risk assessment (e.g., the importance of Holocene sea-level rise on the development of shore platforms facilitating the progradation of lava deltas).
ISSN: 0169-555X
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2022.108427
Source: Geomorphology [ISSN 0169-555X], v. 416, (Noviembre 2022)
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