Happy Birthday, Teneguia!

The eruption of Teneguia, October 1971

The oldest rocks on La Palma are 2,000,000 years old, which is very young for geology. But the youngest rocks are just 40 years old, and it’s their birthday this month.

The Teneguía volcano erupted during October and November of 1971. My husband was a teenager at the time, and he remembers going to see it from the San Antonio volcano, and he remembers hearing the deep rumbles at home in Breña Baja, over 20 km away.

For all that, it was a rather well behaved little volcano. Almost all the lava went out to sea, making the island 0.5 km longer. The volcano also spat out large quantities of volcanic ash, which made a real mess of the nearby salt pans.

You can still visit Teneguía, and it looks like another planet. Depending on your age, this may be your only chance to walk around on rock that is younger than you.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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