Tracing volcanic events in the NGRIP ice-core and synchronising North Altantic marine records during the last glacial period

Davies, S.M.; Wastegård, S.; Abbott, P.M.; Barbante, C.; Bigler, M.; Johnsen, S.J.; Rasmussen, T.L.; Steffensen, J.P.; Svensson, A. (2010). Tracing volcanic events in the NGRIP ice-core and synchronising North Altantic marine records during the last glacial period. Earth and planetary science letters, 294(1-2), pp. 69-79. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.03.004

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Five basaltic tephra horizons have been identified in the NGRIP ice-core during the last glacial period. Geochemical analyses indicate that these tephras are of Icelandic origin with one horizon identified as the Faroe Marine Ash Zone III (FMAZ III) — an important marker horizon in several marine records within the Faroe Islands margin. The FMAZ III is a few millimetres thick and is constrained to 38,122 ± 723 yr b2k (before year AD 2000) according to the Greenland Ice Core Chronology (GICC05). This event falls directly at the thermal peak of Greenland Interstadial 8 (GI-8) and a marine-ice correlation, based on the position of this tephra, suggests a close coupling of the marine and atmospheric systems at this time. The remaining tephras originate from the Eastern Volcanic Zone with the Katla volcanic system pinpointed as the dominant source. These are thought to represent previously unknown volcanic events which add considerably to our knowledge of Icelandic volcanism during this period. Independent ages are assigned to these events and together with major element characterisation, form the backbone of the tephrochronology framework presented here. Despite the identification of these tephras, this study also demonstrates that the sulphate record may not always act as a suitable proxy for the identification of tephra horizons in ice-core records.

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:

Bigler, Matthias








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:16

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:04

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URI: (FactScience: 209090)

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