Tenerife - Geology

Geology

Tenerife is a rugged and volcanic island sculpted by successive eruptions throughout its history. There are four historically recorded volcanic eruptions, none of which has led to casualties. The first occurred in 1704, when the Arafo, Fasnia and Siete Fuentes volcanoes erupted simultaneously. Two years later, in 1706, the greatest eruption occurred at Trevejo. This volcano produced great quantities of lava which buried the city and port of Garachico. The last eruption of the 18th century happened in 1798 at Cañadas de Teide, in Chahorra. Finally, and most recently, in 1909 that formed the Chinyero cinder cone, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, erupted.

The island is located between 28° and 29° N and the 16° and 17° meridian. It is situated north of the Tropic of Cancer, occupying a central position between the other Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, La Gomera and La Palma. The island is about 300 km (186 mi) from the African coast, and approximately 1,000 km (621 mi) from the Iberian Peninsula. Tenerife is the largest island of the Canary Islands archipelago, with a surface area of 2,034.38 km2 (785 sq mi) and the longest coastline amounting to 342 km (213 mi).

In addition, the highest point, Mount Teide, with an elevation of 3,718 m (12,198 ft) above sea level is the highest point in all of Spain, is also the third largest volcano in the world from its base in the bottom of the sea. For this reason, Tenerife is the tenth highest island worldwide. It comprises about 200 small barren islets or large rocks including Roques de Anaga, Roque de Garachico, and Fasnia adding a further 213,835 m2 (2,301,701 sq ft) to the total area.

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