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Title: Ignimbrites of the Roque Nublo group, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Authors: Pérez-Torrado, F. J. 
Marti, J.
Mangas, J. 
Day, S.
UNESCO Clasification: 250621 Vulcanología
Keywords: Hydrovolcanic eruptions
Pyroclastic flows
Roque Nublo ignimbrites
Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: 0258-8900
Journal: Bulletin of Volcanology 
Abstract: Non-welded, lithic-rich ignimbrites, hereintermed the Roque Nublo ignimbrites, are the most distinctive deposits of the Pliocene Roque Nublo group, which forms the products of second magmatic cycle on Gran Canaria. They are very heterogeneous, with 35–55% volume lithic fragments, 15-30% mildly vesiculated pumice, 5–7% crystals and 20–30% ash matrix. The vitric components (pumice fragments and ash matrix) are largely altered and transformed into zeolites and subordinate smectites. The Roque Nublo ignimbrites originated from hydrovolcanic eruptions that caused rapid and significant erosion of vents thus incorporating a high proportion of lithic clasts into the eruption columns. These columns rapidly became too dense to be sustained as vertical eruption columns and were transformed into tephra fountains which fed high-density pyroclastic flows. The deposits from these flows were mainly confined to palaeovalleys and topographic depressions. In distal areas close to the coast line, where these palaeovalleys widened, most of the pyroclastic flows expanded laterally and formed numerous thin flow units. The combined effect of the magma–water interaction and the high content of lithic fragments is sufficient to explain the characteristic low emplacement temperature of the Roque Nublo ignimbrites. This fact also explains the transition from pyroclastic flows into lahar deposits observed in distal facies of the Roque Nublo ignimbrites. The existence of hydrovolcanic eruptions generating high-density pyroclastic flows, unable to efficiently separate the water vapour from the vitric components during transport, also accounts for the intense zeolitic alteration in these deposits.
ISSN: 0258-8900
DOI: 10.1007/s004450050168
Source: Bulletin of Volcanology [ISSN 0258-8900], v. 58, p. 647-654
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