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An overview of distal tephrochronology in northern Europe during the last 1000 years
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Quaternary Science, ISSN 0267-8179, Vol. 24, no 5, 500-512 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several tephra layers from the last millennium have been identified in distal peat and lake sediment sequences in northern Europe, forming a framework of volcanic events of great value for palaeoenvironmental investigations. Most of the tephras within this framework have an origin in Iceland, but distal layers from Jan Mayen have also been identified. The predominant transport pathway, in an easterly-southeasterly direction, has led to the deposition of these tephras in a number of terrestrial deposits in northern Europe. Ash from silicic eruptions (>63% SiO2) dominate at these sites, even though many of the documentary records in distal areas report tephra fall from several basaltic eruptions. Here we provide an overview of the distribution, shard concentration and geochemistry of these tephras to highlight the most important isochrones for addressing key dating issues. In particular, three horizons - Hekla-1 (AD 1104), Öræfajökull (AD 1362) and Askja (AD 1875) - are found at a number of different locations in northern Europe and as such are valuable tie-points for improving and validating chronological models and for synchronisation of records spanning the last 1000 years. In addition, we present new data identifying tephra from the Grímsvötn volcanic system within the Lomonosovfonna ice cap on Svalbard, demonstrating that some tephras have been transported 2000 km to as far north as 79° N along a northeasterly trajectory. This discovery highlights the potential for utilising tephrochronology as a correlation tool for palaeoarchives located in more northerly areas and the complex nature of fall-out from different eruptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 24, no 5, 500-512 p.
Keyword [en]
tephra, last millennium, tephrochronology, Europe, Grímsvötn
National Category
Research subject
Quarternary Geology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31240DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1269ISI: 000268001000009OAI: diva2:275870
MILLENNIUM, EU 6th framework
Available from: 2009-12-07 Created: 2009-11-09 Last updated: 2009-12-07Bibliographically approved

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