Skip to content

Fast emplacement of extensive pahoehoe flow-fields: the case of the 1736 flows from Montaña de las Nueces, Lanzarote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The 1730–36 Timanfaya eruption on Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, is the second largest historical effusion on record. During its final stages, in 1736, the eruption produced the Montaña de las Nueces flow-field, consisting of sheets of pahoehoe lava that, within 4 weeks, had covered 32 km2 and reached a maximum length of almost 21 km. The tholeiitic lavas have pahoehoe surface features, but internal structures that are normally associated with massive aa flows, suggesting that their fronts advanced as single units rather than as a collection of budding pahoehoe tongues. Volume conservation and a simple model of crustal failure suggest that the main flows advanced at about 0.02 ms−1 over the prevailing slopes of ∼1°. The rates of advance are (1) consistent with emplacement near the transition from pahoehoe to aa, and (2) about an order of magnitude greater than would have been expected by analogy with Hawaiian pahoehoe flow-fields of similar dimensions. Surface texture and morphology, therefore, is an insufficient guide for constraining the rate and style of pahoehoe emplacement, and a flow’s internal structure must be established before its characteristics are used to infer eruption conditions and potential hazard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-207
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume132
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2004

Related information

Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 217113