Canary Islands


Canary Islands and volcanoes. Map based on Neumann van Padang and others (1967).


View east across the Canary Islands. La Palma is on the bottom left. Tenerife is near the center of this Space Shuttle photo (STS050-82-002). The coast of Africa forms the horizon.

Volcanism in the Canary Islands is associated with the transition from continental (Africa) to oceanic (Atlantic) lithosphere within the Africa plate, the effects of the tectonics of the nearby Atlas Mountains, and the very slow movement (about 1 cm per year for the last 60 million years) of the African plate (see references in Carracedo, 1994).

Sources of Information:

Carracedo, J.C., 1994, The Canary Islands: an example of structural control on the growth of large oceanic-island volcanoes. J. Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 60, p. 225-241.

Carracedo, J.C., 1996, Morphological and structural evolution of the western Canary Islands: hotspot-induced three-armed rifts or regional tectonic trends? J. Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 72.

Krafft, M., and de Larouziere, F.D., 1991, Guide des Volcans d'Europe et des Canaries, Delachaux et Niestle, Lausanne, 455 p.

Neumann van Padang, M., Richards, A.F., Machado, F., Bravo, T., Baker, E., Le Maitre, W., 1967, Part XXI, Atlantic Ocean: Catalogue of the active volcanoes of the world, International Association of Volcanology, Rome, Italy, 128 p.

Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.



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