A 16,000-yr tephra framework for the Antarctic ice sheet: A contribution from the new Talos Dome core

Biancamaria Narcisi, Jean Robert Petit, Barbara Delmonte, Claudio Scarchilli, Barbara Stenni

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A detailed tephra record for the last 16,000 years of the TALDICE ice core drilled at Talos Dome (East Antarctica, Pacific/Ross Sea sector) is documented. Traces of 26 different explosive volcanic eruptions, dated by ice core chronology and framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, have been identified. Glass major element composition and grain size data indicate that all prominent tephra layers derive from Antarctic volcanic activity and likely originated in proximal volcanoes of the Melbourne Volcanic Province (Northern Victoria Land). Two other Antarctic horizons may have originated from the more distant volcanoes of Mount Berlin (Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica) and Mount Erebus (Ross Island, Southern Victoria Land). Moreover, based on glass-shard geochemistry and a 20-year analysis of atmospheric back trajectories suggesting ash transport from South America to the drilling site by the circumpolar westerly circulation, a few faint microtephra horizons are attributed to Andean volcanic activity. Two of these tephras are interpreted to be related to known Holocene explosive eruptions from the volcanoes of Mount Hudson and Mount Burney. Finally, by comparing compositional features in conjunction with age data, three TALDICE tephras have been successfully correlated with volcanic layers in other ice records of the Antarctic ice sheet. Altogether, our results expand the Antarctic tephrostratigraphic framework and add value to the prospects for continental-scale correlations between ice cores and Southern Hemisphere sediment archives. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52 - 63
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Geology

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