Age and crustal structure of the Canary Islands

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H.-U. Schmincke


The postulation of a Mesozoic age for the shield-building basaltic series of Gran Canaria and Tenerife by Storevedt et al. (1978), based upon paleomagnetic data from these islands, is inconsistent with abundant and concordant K/Ar-ages from several laboratories. These latter data leave no doubt that no rocks older than Mid-Miocene have been found on Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Moreover, no volcaniclastic layers older than Miocene were found in Deep Sea Drilling cores near the Canary Islands. Also, the volcanic apron around at least Gran Canaria appears to be Miocene in age judging from seismic reflectors that extend to well-dated drilled sections. There is no evidence for a sialic crustal layer extending beneath all or any of the Canary Islands.

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Schmincke, H.-U. (1979). Age and crustal structure of the Canary Islands. Journal of Geophysics, 46(1), 217-224. Retrieved from


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