Ph.D. Program in Oceanography and Global Change at the Canary Islands, Spain

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Luis Ángel Quevedo González (Ph.D. Student): "Geological characterization of seamount-derived deposits from Amanay, Banquete and Conception Bank (Canary Islands)"

Seamounts are scattered undersea geological features with increasing scientific and economic interests. Indeed, they are broadly recognized as potential source of raw materials. In the geological setting of the Canary Islands, Amanay, Banquete and Conception Bank are located along the NE-SW axis of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura Islands. Despite the lack of prior studies, a few multidisciplinary projects have recently focused on these marine areas. A set of sediment samples, igneous and sedimentary rocks is analysed for petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry studies. A multi-technical approach is used for characterization of the constituent materials by different methods, such as XRD, EMPA, SEM and ICP-MS. The foremost objective of this work is to describe and interpret an evident geological diversity through textural, mineral and geochemical data, as the first comprehensive description of the submarine deposits from the nearest seamounts to the archipelago. Preliminary data support a hotspot-derived, intraplate, volcanic origin based on igneous petrology and geochemistry with varying degrees of alteration. In addition, sedimentary rocks can be split mainly in carbonated rocks (commonly with ferruginous and/or phosphatized matrix) and REE-enriched ferromanganese crusts. Lastly, silty-clayey sands represent the nature of the modern sediments.

Figure: Shaded-relief maps of Conception Bank (A), Amanay and Banquete seamounts (B). Bathymetry data from LIFE+ INDEMARES (2009-2013) cruises. Some contour levels are labelled with depth values.