Pieces of sediment from the Cretaceous menstruum encased inward lava floated to the surface with the underwater eruption of El Hierro inward 2011, bringing scientists valuable information on the islands’ body of body of water floor. The analysis of the materials matches the origin of the Canary Islands archipelago to the model of how Hawaii was formed too confirms that the oldest islands are constitute to the eastward too the youngest to the west.
In July 2011, the isle of El Hierro experienced the maiden off signs of a possible volcanic eruption with depression intensity only unusually numerous earthquakes. The seismicity became always to a greater extent than intense, culminating inward the underwater eruption ii kilometres due south of the hamlet of La Restinga on 10 Oct 2011.
As business office of question published inward ‘Scientific Reports‘, from the grouping ‘Nature’, scientists from centres inward Sweden, Espana too Portugal accept studied the volcanic cloth which floated to the surface of the sea after the eruption. The nannofossils that they comprise confirm that the islands were formed from eastward to west. This information sheds lite on the origin too life wheel of oceanic islands, which has been debated since the beginnings of geology.
“Our report confirms, for the maiden off time, that the underwater activeness which starts off the structure of the islands follows the designing of the known historic menstruum progression of subaerial volcanic activeness (the emerging business office of the islands) with older ages to the eastward of the archipelago, Fuerteventura too Lanzarote, too the youngest to the west, El Hierro too La Palma,” equally Vicente Soler, researcher at the Volcanological Station of the Canary Islands (CSIC) tells SINC.
The novel finding brings the origin of the Canaries closer to the Hawaiian model, given that the Canary Islands archipelago is non located inward an expanse where plates meet, only inward the middle of the African plate. This likewise occurs with Hawaii; its islands are inward the middle of the Pacific plate too are located inward an nigh conduct line.
“With the Canary Islands, a string of islands was formed equally the oceanic plate shifted over a deep laid upward magmatic source, opposite to the theory which attributes the origin of the archipelago to regional tectonics, which are responsible, alongside other things, for the formation of the neighbouring Atlas mountains inward northern Morocco,” the scientist points out.
The origin of the volcanic materials
Soler explains that these floating volcanic materials are amend known equally ‘restingolites’, spell inward scientific literature they accept been given the confusing advert of ‘xeno pumice’.
“There is much scientific argument regarding what restingolites are too where they come upward from. The materials of involvement for this report were collected floating on the sea during the maiden off days of eruption too a calendar week after after their arrival ashore,” he adds.
Due to the pocket-sized fossils they contain, they are attributed to the Cretaceous period, inward sum formation of the Atlantic body of body of water with America, on separating from what are today Europe too Africa.
According to the researchers who participated inward this study, including Valentín R. Troll, from Uppsala University too Juan Carlos Carracedo from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, these fragments must hold out pieces of pre-island sediments ‘reworked’ past times the column of magma where the eruption occurred spell en-route to the surface.
“Also, due to the silica content, they would look to hold out rhyolites, rocks related to a potentially unsafe type of volcanic activity. Yet the beingness of nannofossils within the restingolites is a compelling declaration inward favour of the maiden off hypothesis,” concludes Soler.
The higher upward story is based on materials provided by FECYT – Castilian Foundation for Science too Technology.