Structure and evolution of the volcanic rift zone at São Lourenço peninsula, Madeira.

Klügel, Andreas, Schwarz, Stefanie, van den Bogaard, Paul, Hoernle, Kaj , Wohlgemuth-Ueberwasser, Cora C. and Köster, Jana J. (2009) Structure and evolution of the volcanic rift zone at São Lourenço peninsula, Madeira. Bulletin of Volcanology, 71 (6). pp. 671-685. DOI 10.1007/s00445-008-0253-7.

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Ponta de São Lourenço is the deeply eroded eastern end of Madeira’s east–west trending rift zone, located near the geometric intersection of the Madeira rift axis with that of the Desertas Islands to the southeast. It dominantly consists of basaltic pyroclastic deposits from Strombolian and phreatomagmatic eruptions, lava flows, and a dike swarm. Main differences compared to highly productive rift zones such as in Hawai’i are a lower dike intensity (50–60 dikes/km) and the lack of a shallow magma reservoir or summit caldera. 40Ar/39Ar age determinations show that volcanic activity at Ponta de São Lourenço lasted from >5.2 to 4 Ma (early Madeira rift phase) and from 2.4 to 0.9 Ma (late Madeira rift phase), with a hiatus dividing the stratigraphy into lower and upper units. Toward the east, the distribution of eruptive centers becomes diffuse, and the rift axis bends to parallel the
Desertas ridge. The bending may have resulted from mutual gravitational influence of the Madeira and Desertas volcanic edifices. We propose that Ponta de São Lourenço represents a type example for the interior of a fading rift arm on oceanic volcanoes, with modern analogues being the terminations of the rift zones at La Palma and El Hierro (Canary Islands). There is no evidence for Ponta de São Lourenço representing a former central volcano that interconnected and fed the Madeira and Desertas rifts. Our results suggest a subdivision of volcanic rift zones into (1) a highly productive endmember characterized by a central volcano with a shallow magma chamber feeding one or more rift arms, and (2) a less productive endmember characterized by rifts fed from deep-seated magma reservoirs rather than from a central volcano, as is the case for Ponta de São Lourenço.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Madeira, Desertas, Rift zone, Dikes, Pyroclastic deposits, Ar/Ar-dating, Hotspot
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00445-008-0253-7
ISSN: 0258-8900
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2010 15:53
Last Modified: 29 May 2018 07:11

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