Hotspot volcanoes

How many active volcanoes are there in the Canary Islands?

The eruption that began shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday has yet to peak and could continue for weeks or even months. The longest in Spanish history lasted six years!

indeed, Vicente Soler a volcanologist from the Spanish National Research Council announced this evening that a new vent has opened on the volcano.

The volcanologists were able notify residents in advance near La Palma’s last eruption, after observing the telltale signs that the arrival of magma was imminent. Prior to the eruption, more than 25,000 tremors were recorded as the volcano prepared to erupt. So far, 5,500 people were evacuated as lava rolls down the slopes into homes and the sea.

And La Palma is not the only active volcano on the islands.

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What is the geological history of the islands?

The lands of Macaronesia, i.e. the archipelagos of the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores and Cape Verde, were formed by volcanoes 70 million years ago.

Over the past 1,000 years, the only eruptions in Spain have occurred in the Canary Islands. This is due to their relative youth among volcanoes, Cumbre vieja being only 125,000 years old. They are still in the developmental stage of the volcano, which means eruptions may still occur.

La Palma and Tenerife have the most active volcanoes in Spain. Since records have been kept of the eruptions, there have been 19 eruptions:

  • 1430/1440 Tacande or Montaña Quemada La Palma
  • 1492 Colon eruption Tenerife
  • 1585 Tehouya, La Palma
  • 1646 Martin de Tigalate volcano, La Palma
  • 1667/1678 Volcano of San Antonio La Palma
  • 1704/1705 Volcano of Sietefuentes Tenerife
  • 1704/1705 Volcano of Fasnia Tenerife
  • 1704/1705 Volcano of Arafo Tenerife
  • 1706 Eruption of Garachico / Volcán de Arenas Negras Tenerife
  • 1712 Charco eruption La Palma
  • 1730/1736 Eruption of Timanfaya Lanzarote
  • 1798 Eruption Narices del Teide / Volcán de Chahorra Tenerife
  • 1824 Volcano of Tao or del Clérigo / Duarte Lanzarote
  • 1824 Nuevo del Fuego or Chinero volcano Lanzarote
  • 1824 Nuevo or Tinguatón Volcano Lanzarote
  • 1909 Volcano del Chinyero Tenerife
  • 1949 Volcano of San Juan V. de Nambroque / Duraznero / Hoyo Negro / Llano del Banco La Palma
  • 1971 Volcano del Teneguía La Palma
  • 2021 Cabeza de Vaca Volcano La Palma

This is based on research by Dr Carmen Romero, Department of Geography, University of La Laguna in Tenerife.