Furnas (Portugal)

Status Unknown Eruption 1630 805m
Stratovolcano (Rift zone / Oceanic crust (< 15 km))

Furnas

Furnas volcano lies at the eastern end of Sao Miguel Island, immediately west of the older Nordeste shield volcano and its Povoaçao caldera. There are at least two calderas, a younger one that is 6-km wide and a larger older one that is less topographically distinct. The eastern wall of the 500-m-deep Furnas caldera overlaps the western wall of the Nordeste Povoaçao caldera. Volcanic activity dates back about 100,000 years. At least 11 trachytic pumice layers, all erupted during the past 5000 years, post-date the caldera. The most prominent post-caldera feature is the Pico do Gaspar lava dome, east of the Lagoa das Furnas caldera lake. A zone of late-Pleistocene to Holocene basaltic-to-trachytic cinder cones and lava domes is located between Furnas and Agua de Pau volcanoes. Two historical eruptions have occurred, one sometime between 1439 and 1443 and the other in 1630. The latter was one of the largest Holocene explosive eruptions in the Azores and caused significant damage and fatalities.

Furnas volcano, at the eastern end of Sao Miguel Island, contains at least two calderas. The younger 6-km-wide caldera is seen here from its northern rim. At least 11 trachytic pumice layers, all erupted during the past 5000 years, post-date the caldera. A zone of late-Pleistocene to Holocene basaltic-to-trachytic cinder cones and lava domes is located between Furnas and neighboring Agua de Pau volcano. The only historical eruption of Furnas volcano, during 1630, was one of the largest Holocene eruptions in the Azores.

Photo by Rick Wunderman, 1997 (Smithsonian Institution).

Last updated 2019-08-03 19:28:03

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