Polygonal feeder tubes filled with hydroclasts: a new volcanic lithofacies marking shoreline subaerial–submarine transition

<p>This paper describes for the first time a new lithofacies that formed in the passage zone during the construction of pahoehoe lava-fed deltas in the north and NE coastal areas of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean). These lava-fed deltas, which are Pliocene in age, present similar lithofacies associations to those previously described in the literature, except for two distinct features: low abundance of hyaloclastites and a new lithofacies in the passage zone. This new lithofacies, which we propose to name ‘polygonal feeder tubes filled with hydroclasts’, comprises metre-scale lava feeder tubes with decimetre-scale coherent poorly vesicular and aphanitic rinds of polygonal morphology, filled with closely packed hydroclasts generated <em>in situ</em>. It represents the first stage in the interaction between seawater and thick lava flows entering the sea under the influence of a tidal regime, thus marking sea level. This lithofacies should be easily recognizable in ancient successions, and thus represents a useful marker of palaeoshorelines. </p>