February 2002-January 2006
Level of Access
This award supports a project to analyze samples from the Law Dome ice core for volcanic tephra. The Law Dome ice core is the best-dated ice core from East Antarctica and contains a detailed record of climate and atmospheric chemistry over at least the last 700 years. Several global volcanic eruptions appear to be recorded in the Law Dome core, including the well known Tambora 1815 and Unknown 1809 events, as well as the Huaynaputina 1600 and Ruiz 1595 events. To verify the source eruptions responsible for these signals, as well as to differentiate between local Antarctic and southern hemisphere eruptions, a continuous scan for volcanic glass at an annual resolution will be done on the last 700 years of the Law Dome ice core. Sub-annual tephra analyses will be done in the sections containing the largest acid signals in the core. To better evaluate the climatic impact of large equatorial eruptions from ice cores, it is necessary to isolate local eruptions and their associated glaciochemical signal from that of these more distant sources. The identification of local eruptions in the Law Dome core will improve upon the existing chronology of Antarctic volcanism over the last 700 years through the presence of volcanic glass in conjunction with the results from this same type of study on the Siple Dome ice core.
Zielinski, Gregory A., "Collaborative Research: A 700-Year Tephrochronology of the Law Dome Ice Core, East Antarctica" (2006). University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: Grant Reports. 199.