Abstract

The Quaternary Bandas del Sur Formation in the south of Tenerife comprises a complex sequence of pyroclastic rocks and lavas. In contrast to the NW- and NE-Rift zone on Tenerife, the S-Rift zone comprises a number of characteristics with respect to the morphological features, eruption cyclicity and the geochemistry of the volcanic deposits. Various flank eruptions of the Las Cañadas volcano associated with basaltic lavas and the formation of cinder cones within the Bandas del Sur are important volcanic units for understanding the explosive volcanic cycles during the Pleistocene on Tenerife. A number of palaeomagnetic studies, as well as major and trace element geochemistry and two radio-isotope dates (K–Ar), have been carried out on prominent cinder cones, in order to discover their stratigraphic position. Combining our results with previous K–Ar data, the cones and lavas can be subdivided into three stratigraphic units. The first unit contains cinder cones with reverse magnetization and Y/Nb ratios between 0.37 and 0.41. Cinder cones which belong to the second unit show normal magnetization and Y/Nb ratios of < 0.35. The third unit comprises cinder cones with normal magnetization and Y/Nb ratios of about 0.47. The first two units were constructed between c. 0.948–0.779 Ma and 0.323–0.300 Ma. These units define volcanic cycles ending in violent Plinian eruptions. The third and youngest unit possibly marks the beginning of a further volcanic cycle that started c. 0.095 Ma ago.

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