The Geology of the Canary Islands

The Geology of the Canary Islands

1st Edition - May 26, 2016

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  • Authors: Valentin Troll, Juan Carlos Carracedo
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128096642
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128096635

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The Geology of the Canary Islands provides a concise overview of the geology and volcanology of the Canary Islands, along with 27 carefully planned day excursions comprising trips on all of the islands. Each stop includes a description on how to approach a site and where to park with GPS locations provided. The book covers all the spectacular features of the islands, including active ocean island volcanoes whose origins are linked to a hot spot or plume causing anomalously hot mantle material to intrude the African plate, submarine volcanic sequences uplifted inside the islands, sub- aerial shield volcanoes, and the remains of giant lateral collapses. Through its clearly written and richly color-illustrated introduction and field guide, this book is essential reading for geologists who visit the Canary Islands, one of the largest and most fascinating active volcanic systems in Europe.

Key Features

  • Includes a forward by Prof. C. J. Stillman (Trinity College Dublin), a leading expert on the volcanology and geology of the Canary Islands
  • Features 500 full color images, coupled with in-depth introductory text and a chapter on each island, followed by 27 guided excursions that include all of the seven islands of the archipelago
  • Familiarizes the reader with the variety of volcanic landforms and eruptive products in the Canary Islands and provides practical support in recognition, recording, and interpretation
  • Develops understanding of growth, evolution, and destruction of ocean island volcanoes, promoting temporal and spatial thinking within a given geological framework


Geologists and geology students, Volcanologists, Geophysicists and Geochemists.

Table of Contents

    • Foreword
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. The Canary Islands: An Introduction
      • Abstract
      • The Canary Islands
      • The Pre-Canaries Geological Setting; Creation of Oceanic Crust and the Opening of the Central Atlantic
      • The Canary Volcanic Province
      • Genesis of the Canary Volcanic Provinces
      • Volcanic Growth Versus Gravitational Subsidence in the Canary Islands
      • Island Growth Stages in the Canaries
      • Constructive Processes that Build Volcanoes: Positive Volcanic Landforms
      • Monogenetic Volcanoes
      • Negative Volcanic Landforms
      • The Island of “La Canaria”
    • Chapter 2. The Geology of El Hierro
      • Abstract
      • The Island of El Hierro
      • The SUBMARINE Edifice
      • Age of Volcanism: Radiometric Ages and Geomagnetic Reversals
      • Main Stratigraphic Units
      • Tiñor Volcano
      • El Golfo Volcano
      • Recent Rift Volcanism
      • Compositional Variation
      • Main Structural Elements of El Hierro
      • Rift Zones
      • The Giant Landslides of El Hierro
      • Tiñor Lateral Collapse
      • El Julan Landslide
      • Las Playas Landslide and the San Andrés Fault
      • The El Golfo Giant Collapse
      • Recent Volcanism on El Hierro
      • Prehistoric Eruptions
      • Historic Eruptions: The 2011 SubMarine Eruption
      • Geological Routes
    • Chapter 3. The Geology of La Palma
      • Abstract
      • The Island of La Palma
      • Radiometric Ages and Geomagnetic Reversals
      • Composition of Erupted Rock Suites
      • General Stratigraphy
      • Prehistoric Eruptions
      • Historical Eruptions
      • Rock Composition of Historical Lavas
      • Geological Routes
    • Chapter 4. The Geology of La Gomera
      • Abstract
      • The Island of La Gomera
      • The Submarine Edifice of La Gomera
      • The Emerged Edifice of La Gomera
      • Age and Palaeomagnetism of the Rocks on La Gomera
      • Stages of Construction and Main Volcanic Units of La Gomera
      • The Miocene Basaltic Shield
      • Dykes and Domes
      • Geological Routes
    • Chapter 5. The Geology of Tenerife
      • Abstract
      • The Island of Tenerife
      • Main Geomorphological Features of Tenerife
      • General Stratigraphy of Tenerife
      • The Mio-Pliocene Shield Volcanoes
      • Central Explosive Volcanism: The Las Cañadas Volcano
      • The Southwest Sector of the Bandas del Sur (Adeje)
      • The SE Sector of Bandas del Sur (Abona)
      • The Diego Hernández Formation
      • Extracaldera Felsic Eruptions
      • Rift Zones on Tenerife
      • The Northeast Rift Zone
      • The Northwest Dorsal Ridge
      • Giant Collapses on Tenerife
      • Las Cañadas Caldera: Vertical Collapse Versus Giant Landslide
      • The 735-ka Abona Giant Landslide
      • Giant Landslides and Magmatic Variability
      • The Teide Volcanic Complex
      • The Central Stratocones: Teide and Pico Viejo
      • Teide’s Peripheral Phonolitic Lava Domes
      • Recent Volcanism on Tenerife
      • Historical Eruptions on Tenerife
      • Rock Composition and Variations
      • The Climate of Tenerife
      • Geological Routes
    • Chapter 6. The Geology of Gran Canaria
      • Abstract
      • The Island of Gran Canaria
      • The Submarine (Seamount) Stage of Gran Canaria
      • The Subaerial Growth of Gran Canaria
      • Age of Gran Canaria Volcanism
      • Miocene Shield Basalts
      • Miocene Felsic Rocks
      • The Mogán and Fataga Groups
      • The Tejeda Collapse Caldera
      • Intracaldera Intrusives: The Tejeda Formation
      • Volcanic Quiescence and Sedimentation
      • Pliocene to Quarternary Rejuvenation Volcanism
      • The Roque Nublo Group
      • Roque Nublo Intrusive Facies
      • Post-Roque Nublo Volcanism, the Latest Constructional Phase of Gran Canaria
      • Recent (Quaternary) Volcanism
      • The 1970 BP Bandama Explosive Eruption
      • A Volcanic History of Gran Canaria
      • Giant Landslides and Magmatic Variability
      • The Tirajana Multi-slide Caldera
      • The Rosiana Slump
      • Sedimentary Formations
      • Rock Composition and Variations
      • Geological Routes on Gran Canaria
      • Logistics on Gran Canaria
    • Chapter 7. The Geology of Lanzarote
      • Abstract
      • The Island of Lanzarote
      • The 1730–36 Lanzarote Eruption
      • The 1824 Lanzarote Eruption
      • Phreatomagmatism on Lanzarote
      • The Climate of Lanzarote
      • Geological Routes
    • Chapter 8. The Geology of Fuerteventura
      • Abstract
      • The Island of Fuerteventura
      • Main Geomorphological Features
      • Geological Structure and Volcanic Stratigraphy
      • The Subaerial Growth of Fuerteventura
      • Rock Composition
      • Young Sedimentary Formations
      • Raised Beaches
      • Geological Routes
    • Glossary
    • References
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 636
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2016
  • Published: May 26, 2016
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128096642
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128096635

About the Authors

Valentin Troll

Valentin Troll
Valentin R. Troll graduated from St Andrews University, Scotland in 1998 and received his PhD from the IFM-GEOMAR Research Centre at the University of Kiel, Germany, in 2001. Troll then lectured in volcanology and petrology at Trinity College Dublin (2001-2008), during which time he also habilitated at the Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand, France in 2006. In early 2008, he took up the Chair in Petrology and Geochemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden, which he currently holds. Prof. Troll has worked on the volcanic phenomena of the Canary Islands since the late 1990s and has co-authored some 50 scientific articles on the geology, petrology, and geochemistry of the archipelago. Since 2008, he is an honorary research associate at the Intituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Rome, Italy, and since 2012 also at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Troll is mainly active as a research professor at Uppsala University, but strongly believes that training young scientists, watching them grow and helping them to capitalise from experienced researchers is vital for securing the future of volcanology and petrology, as well as the future of our society as a whole.

Troll was recognized with the “VMSG Award 2011” by the Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group, United Kingdom, the volcano section of the Geological Society of London) for “significant contributions to our understanding of magmatic processes over the last few years”. He also received a “Most Cited Paper Award” from the ”Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research” (Elsevier) for the period 2003-2007 and is an elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and of Trinity College Dublin. From the latter institution he also holds an honorary M.A. degree for “outstanding service."

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden

Juan Carlos Carracedo

Juan Carlos Carracedo
Juan Carlos Carracedo graduated from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid) in 1968. After a postgraduate sojourn at the Department of Geology of the same University and followed by a spell as a visiting scientist at the Department of Geology, University of Toronto, he took up a permanent position on the staff of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (Madrid) from where he later moved to the Estación Volcanológica de Canarias (EVC-CSIC) in La Laguna on Tenerife. Prof. Carracedo has worked in the Canary Islands for over 40 years and published over 200 scientific articles on the geology, palaeomagnetism and volcanology of the Canary archipelago and authored or co-authored over 20 books and book chapters (in Spanish and English).

Although Prof. Carracedo believes that the main role of a scientist is to communicate findings to peers, he is also strongly convinced of the importance of scientific outreach as an essential way to transfer knowledge to the general public, as well as to the next generation of geoscientist working in the archipelago. He hopes to spark interest and wants to help make science relevant to peoples’ every-day lifes. This is of particular importance in the Canaries, an area with active volcanism, where a good general knowledge of volcanic processes and associated hazards may significantly help to facilitate the management and responses to future eruptive hazards.

Carracedo recently retired as a ‘distinguished research professor’ from CSIC and as director of the Estación Volcanológica de Canarias (EVC). Prof. Carracedo is currently an honorary emeritus professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (GEOVOL-GROUP) and was recently named as one of the most influential scientists in Spain by a national survey in early 2015. In recognition of the latter, he was appointed a member of the “Canarian Royal Academy of Sciences” in summer 2015.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Ratings and Reviews

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  • MichaelTaylor Thu May 23 2019

    Guided to a Volcanic Paradise!

    Just back from spending four weeks on winter break with "The Geology of the Canary Islands" by Troll & Carracedo as my guide. The book begins with an overview, then steps through the islands individually, building on the overview with island-specific details, then recommending day-by-day outcrop-by-outcrop tours to the best volcanic geology. At 636 pages, it is a weighty tome to lug around for a month. I'd preferred to have bought sections of the guide for the three islands we visited, rather than all seven islands under one cover. As a compendium of almost two centuries of geoscience, the illustrations were copied from existing texts, using differing & greatly inconsistent colour schemes, shading, line types & terminology, which was hard to absorb by "old eyes". All in all, a treasure guide on the trail of fabulous volcanic geology - as I told a friend, "If I'd studied modern volcanics on the Canary Islands with this guide instead of ancient volcanic remnants in the UK, I'd have been a volcanologist, not a sedimentologist!"

  • Martín P. Tue Mar 13 2018