Scientific article

The 5,660 yBP Boquerón explosive eruption, Teide–Pico Viejo complex, Tenerife

Published inBulletin of volcanology, vol. 74, no. 9, p. 2037-2050
Publication date2012

Quantitative hazard assessments of active volcanoes require an accurate knowledge of the past eruptive activity in terms of eruption dynamics and the stratified products of eruption. Teide–Pico Viejo (TPV) is one of the largest volcanic complexes in Europe, but the associated eruptive history has only been constrained based on very general stratigraphic and geochronological data. In particular, recent studies have shown that explosive activity has been significantly more frequently common than previously thought. Our study contributes to characterization of explosive activity of TPV by describing for the first time the subplinian eruption of El Boquerón (5,660 yBP), a satellite dome located on the northern slope of the Pico Viejo stratovolcano. Stratigraphic data suggest complex shifting from effusive phases with lava flows to highly explosive phase that generated a relatively thick and widespread pumice fallout deposit. This explosive phase is classified as a subplinian eruption of VEI 3 that lasted for about 9–15 h and produced a plume with a height of up to 9 km above sea level (i.e. 7 km above the vent; MER of 6.9–8.2 × 105 kg/s). The tephra deposit (minimum bulk volume of 4–6 × 107 m3) was dispersed to the NE by up to 10 m/s winds. A similar eruption today would significantly impact the economy of Tenerife (e.g. tourism and aviation), with major consequences mainly for the communities around the Icod Valley, and to a minor extent, the Orotava Valley. This vulnerability shows that a better knowledge of the past explosive history of TPV and an accurate estimate of future potentials to generate violent eruptions is required in order to quantify and mitigate the associated volcanic risk.

  • Teide
  • Explosive volcanism
  • Tephra deposits
  • Hazard assessment
Citation (ISO format)
GARCÍA, Olaya et al. The 5,660 yBP Boquerón explosive eruption, Teide–Pico Viejo complex, Tenerife. In: Bulletin of volcanology, 2012, vol. 74, n° 9, p. 2037–2050. doi: 10.1007/s00445-012-0646-5
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0258-8900

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