Madeira Island Geology

Madeira Island Geology

Madeira Island Geology

Madeira Island Geology

The Madeira archipelago is part of Macaronesia and is situated in the African plate. It is located at one end of the mountain range (underwater) Tore, direction NE / SO. It is considered a hot spot, hence its volcanic nature and the NE that the archipelago draws.
In summary form, the archipelago has its genesis during the creation of the North Atlantic and began to develop during the Cretaceous period, there are about 130 million years.

 

The Porto Santo Island was the first to form, around 19 million years ago, during the Miocene, emerging 11 million years later (8 million years ago). The latest is the Madeira Island, with the same date of formation having emerged during the transition from Miocene to Pliocene, about 5 million years ago, currently presenting a relief less eroded than the other islands.
Since its emergence so far, can be noted five phases related to volcanism of their formation, particularly visible in various parts Madeira Islands:

 

 

 

  • Base Formation, characterized by large eruptions and expulsion of material, which ended 3 million years.
  • Periphery Formation, where there is a significant reduction of the above conditions with the formation of some dykes and plateaus, which ended 740,000 years.
  • Highlands Formations, marked by the continued expulsion of pyroclastic material and formation of the cliffs of the north and south coasts, ranging between 400 and 900m. This step which ended about 620,000 years.
  • Formation of the Paul de Serra basalts due to a crack in the Bica da Cana site 550,000 years ago.
  • Recent eruptions that practically define the islands. The latest magmatic fluids are located at this stage, which ended 6500 years.

 

The constant volcanism, added to the erosion and tectonic movements, have shaped the different islands of the archipelago in what they are today, giving you the guidance that is coincident with the movement of the African plate. In geomorphological setting of the island, lies one of its main natural attractions. The altitude of the island, as well as the complexity of its relief make it possible to identify numerous microclimates that allow the existence of several habitats.
The contrasts that give the coastal level, with large submerged deltas, submerged volcanic deposits, large cliffs and large deep valleys, all this natural wealth and geographic is the collection of Madeira Island.

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