The large triangular island of Tenerife is composed of a complex of overlapping Miocene-to-Quaternary stratovolcanoes that have remained active into historical time.
The NE-trending Cordillera Dorsal volcanic massif joins the Las Cañadas volcano on the SW side of Tenerife with older volcanoes, creating the largest volcanic complex of the Canary Islands. Controversy surrounds the formation of the dramatic 10 x 17 km Las Cañadas caldera, which is partially filled by 3715-m-high Teide stratovolcano, the highest peak in the Atlantic Ocean. The origin of the caldera has been considered to be due entirely or in part to either a massive landslide (in a manner similar to the earlier formation of the massive La Orotava and Guimar valleys in the Cordillera Dorsal) or due to major explosive eruptions. The most recent stage of activity beginning in the late Pleistocene included the construction of the Pico Viejo and Teide edifices. Tenerife was perhaps observed in eruption by Christopher Columbus, and several flank vents on the Canary Island's most active volcano have been active during historical time. Source: Smithsonian GVP
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