Identification of Icelandic tephras from the last two millennia in the White Sea region (Vodoprovodnoe peat bog, northwestern Russia)

Vakhrameeva, Polina; Portnyagin, Maxim; Ponomareva, Vera; Abbott, Peter M.; Repkina, Tatiana; Novikova, Anna; Koutsodendris, Andreas; Pross, Jörg (2020). Identification of Icelandic tephras from the last two millennia in the White Sea region (Vodoprovodnoe peat bog, northwestern Russia). Journal of quaternary science JQS, 35(4), pp. 493-504. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/jqs.3190

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The generation of reliable age models for palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records in the Eurasian Arctic is often problematic when using conventional dating techniques. Tephrochronology can potentially improve the chronologies of such records and synchronise disparate sedimentary archives. However, to date, systematic tephra studies are lacking for this region. This paper presents the first cryptotephra data from the White Sea region (northwestern Russia) based on a peat core spanning the past ~1800 years. We identify seven geochemical glass populations that derive from six Icelandic volcanoes and correlate four of them to north European tephra isochrons; these include Askja ad 1875, the basaltic component of the ad 877 Landnám tephra, and tephras BTD‐15 (c. ad 1750–1650) and SL‐2/SB‐2 (ad 803–767) from unknown eruptions of Katla and Snæfellsjökull, respectively. The remaining three populations originate from Grímsvötn, Hekla and Katla; however, their attribution to individual eruptions remains ambiguous. These findings highlight the potential to extend the Late Holocene tephrochronological framework of northern Europe to the west Eurasian Arctic. The detection of at least three basaltic tephras in the core suggests that basaltic shards can be transported over larger distances than previously known and that peatlands are well suited to preserve such components.

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)

UniBE Contributor:

Abbott, Peter Michael


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Peter Michael Abbott

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2021 10:15

Last Modified:

19 Mar 2021 10:22

Publisher DOI:





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