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Zeolites and other Minerals from the Canary Islands, (Spain)
A collectors perspective
by Volker Betz
The Canary Islands are of volcanic origin and have been visited  by resarchers from the beginning of the 19th century. The most famous was Alexander von Humboldt on it´s way to South America. Zeolites from the carary Islands have first been mentioned by Leopold von Buch, which spent several months on the Islands, namely Gran Canaria and Teneriffa during the year 1815.  The many Vulcanologists and Geologist which visited  the Canariy Islands, did not report much concerning the occurence of zeolites and other  minerals. Only some mineral collectors which came as tourists,  recognized the minerals and reported about it. It seems that the occurrence of Zeolites is limited to the older islands from Lanzarote to La Gomera, which are in the status of erosion and have provided the hydrothermal conditions for zeolite-growth in cavities of the rock.  The  much younger islands  of La Palma and La Gomera are still in a growth phase  with very little hydrothermal conditions for zeolite growth. This is similar on Iceland, where the occurrence of  the famous zeolites  is restricted to the older basalts of this Island.
Canary Islands



Gran Canaria


La Gomera

La Palma

El Hierro


Home The Canariy Island ad their development in time. The eastern islands are 20-21 Million years old.  La Palma and Fuerteventura  less than 2 Million years. This can be explained by a hotspot progession over that period of time..
Modified map after Carracedo et al. (2001)

Canary Islands at Mindat.org The Canary Islands Hot Spot
© Volker Betz (2010)  All rights reserved.