Fe²⁺ in ice cores as a new potential proxy to detect past volcanic eruptions

Burgay, François; Erhardt, Tobias; Lunga, Damiano Della; Jensen, Camilla Marie; Spolaor, Andrea; Vallelonga, Paul; Fischer, Hubertus; Barbante, Carlo (2019). Fe²⁺ in ice cores as a new potential proxy to detect past volcanic eruptions. Science of the total environment, 654, pp. 1110-1117. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.075

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Volcanic eruptions are widely used in ice core science to date or synchronize ice cores. Volcanoes emit large amounts of SO₂ that is subsequently converted inthe atmosphere into sulfuric acid/sulphate.Its discrete and continuous quantification is currently used to determine the ice layers impacted by volcanic emissions, but available high-resolution sulphate quantification methods in ice core (Continuous Flow Analysis (CFA)) struggle with insufficient sensitivity. Here, we present a new high-resolution CFA chemiluminescence method for the continuous determination of Fe²⁺ species in ice cores thatshowsclear Fe²⁺
peaks concurrent with volcanicsulphate peaks in the ice core record. The method, applied on a Greenland ice core, correctly identifies all volcanic eruptions from between 1588 to 1611 and from 1777 to 1850. The method has a detection limit of ∽5pgg⁻¹ and a quadratic
polynomial calibration range of up to at least 1760 pg g⁻¹. Our results show that Fe²⁺
is a suitable proxy for identifying past volcanic events.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Erhardt, Tobias, Jensen, Camilla Marie, Fischer, Hubertus


500 Science > 530 Physics








Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2019 15:01

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:21

Publisher DOI:






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