TENERIFE, Canary Islands, Oct. 3 (UPI) — One of the world’s best-preserved examples of a giant landslide from a volcanic eruption has been discovered in the Canary Islands, British researchers say.
The southeast slopes of Tenerife Island collapsed into the sea during a huge volcanic eruption 733,000 years ago and the onshore remains of the landslide have just been discovered, researchers at the University of Leicester said in a release Sunday.
“It is one of the world’s best-preserved accessible examples of such an awesome phenomenon, because the debris from such landslides mostly spreads far across the deep ocean floor, inaccessible for close study,” vulcanologist Mike Branney said.
Understanding such phenomena is vital, researchers said, as tsunamis generated from such events may travel to devastate coastlines thousands of miles away.
“In the shattered landscape that remained, lakes formed as rivers were dammed by debris, and the change to the shape of the island altered the course of explosive volcanic eruptions for hundreds of thousands of years afterward,” Branney said.