Tramo 1 EN

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Tramo 1 EN

The island of Lanzarote, which extends over an area of 807 square kilometres is of volcanic origin. This island rose from the ocean some 25,000,000 years ago, as a result of the accumulation of material from repeated eruptions.

The area of Timanfaya National Park we are now visiting, within the confines of the fire mountains is located in the south east of the island, and comprises but a small part of the 172 square kilometres covered by volcanic debris during the eruptions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Between 1726 and 1730, frequent earthquakes and loud underground ramblings caused panic among the population of the interior, who fled seeking refuge in Teguise and Arrecife. The eruption took place towards the end of the summer of 1730, on the evening of 1st September. The events that then occurred were recorded in the manuscripts of an exceptional witness, the priest of Yaiza, Don Andres Lorenzo Curbelo, who wrote: “Between 9.00 and 10.00 in the evening, the earth suddenly opened near Timanfaya, two leaks from Yaiza. During the first night an enormous mountain arose out of the heart of the earth. The flames which came out of its apex, went on burning for 19 days.” This signalled the beginning of the most important period of volcanic activity in the history of the Canary Islands. It lasted for 6 years with phases of varying intensity during which, streams of molten lava registering 800 degrees centigrade and enormous chalice of ashes destroyed every last vestige of life. Wide rivers of molten lava flowed through fractures which opened at the base of many of the volcanoes which originated during the eruptions. The Virgin's Mantle is the most emblematic hornito, or small oven, in the fire mountains. These structures form when the accumulation of gases in the tunnel interiors through which the lava flows is such, that they fracture the roof causing the emission of incandescent materials and gases under great pressure.

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