Traces of volcanic ash from the Mediterranean, Iceland and North America in a Holocene record from South Wales, UK

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Early online date18 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2020
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A tephra record is presented for a sediment core from Llyn Llech Owain, south Wales, spanning the early‐ to mid‐Holocene. Seven cryptotephra deposits are discovered with three thought to correlate with known eruptions and the remaining four considered to represent previously undocumented events. One deposit is suggested to correlate with the ~6.9 cal ka bp Lairg A tephra from Iceland, whereas more distant sources are proposed as the origin for two of the tephra deposits. A peak of colourless shards in early‐Holocene sediments is thought to tentatively correlate with the ~9.6 cal ka bp Fondi di Baia tephra (Campi Flegrei) and a second cryptotephra is tentatively correlated with the ~3.6 cal ka bp Aniakchak (CFE) II tephra (Alaska). The Fondi di Baia tephra has never been recorded beyond proximal sites and its discovery in south Wales significantly extends the geographical distribution of ash from this eruption. The remaining four cryptotephra deposits are yet to be correlated with known eruptions, demonstrating that our current understanding of widespread tephra deposits is incomplete. This new tephra record highlights the potential for sites at more southerly and westerly locations in northwest Europe to act as repositories for ash from several volcanic regions


  • cryptotephra, far-travelled, Holocene, Llyn Llech Owain, South Wales