Teide National Park, a catalogue of volcanism
Teide National Park is imposing because of its central edifice. Its peak is 3,718 m high, making it the third tallest volcano on the planet, but the majestic Teide is not the only volcano in this space. In fact, it’s surrounded by hundreds of volcanos, which constitute one of the largest and most complete catalogues of volcanism in the world.
The island of Tenerife is a huge volcanic edifice almost 7,000 m in height, including its sub-aerial and underwater parts. Teide National Park, which covers nearly 19,000 hectares, holds an endless number of geological edifices, among which the most notable are the 17 square kilometres of the Cañadas caldera and the strombolian volcano that forms the Pico Viejo-Teide system, the only stratovolcano in the archipelago. It was created in the Pleistocene and is still active today, as evidenced by its fumaroles and historic eruptions.
Visiting this natural space can provide a complete class in geography and a unique experience for people of any age. In the national park there are examples of geological and volcanic formations such as the domes of Montaña Blanca and Montaña Rajada, which are elevations in the terrain caused by interior lava that never reached the surface.
There are also volcanic cones, such as Montaña Mostaza, which is almost a perfectly structured volcano, of the kind that are studied in schools around the world.
To this variety we have to add other volcanic forms, such as open eruptive fissures, like those found on the south face of Pico Viejo, which are large openings in the terrain.
Other interesting geological elements are the dikes or breaches, formed by the hardest magmas, usually basaltic, which after erupting solidified among rocks of other compositions on the terrain. Over the centuries and millennia the rocks disappeared due to erosion, leaving behind these magma formations, as can be seen in the wall of Ucanca or in Las Siete Cañadas, which in reality number more than seven.
Apart from Teide itself, Los Roques de García are perhaps the most photographed rock formations by the 3.5 million people that visit the park every year, due to the fact that they are accompanied by Roque Cinchado, which became famous when it was included on the now extinct 1,000 peseta bill. It is the only outcropping of the old Cañadas edifice that can still be found in the interior of the caldera.
In addition to these formations, water and erosion have converted some formations in the national park into images that have given rise to the names of some areas, such as La Corujera, which looks like an owl, or El Palomar, a salic rock formation produced by Tafoni erosion.