Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Clim. Past, 9, 1221–1232, 2013

Special issue: International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS): 2012...

Clim. Past, 9, 1221–1232, 2013

Research article 13 Jun 2013

Research article | 13 Jun 2013

Greenland ice core evidence of the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption

C. Barbante1,2,*, N. M. Kehrwald2,*, P. Marianelli3, B. M. Vinther4, J. P. Steffensen4, G. Cozzi1, C. U. Hammer4, H. B. Clausen4, and M.-L. Siggaard-Andersen4 C. Barbante et al.
  • 1Institute for the Dynamics of the Environmental Processes, CNR, University of Venice, 30123 Venice, Italy
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, University of Venice, Ca' Foscari, 30123 Venice, Italy
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
  • 4Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Volcanic tephra are independent age horizons and can synchronize strata of various paleoclimate records including ice and sediment cores. The Holocene section of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) ice core is dated by multi-parameter annual layer counting, and contains peaks in acidity, SO42− and microparticle concentrations at a depth of 429.1 to 429.3 m, which have not previously been definitively ascribed to a volcanic eruption. Here, we identify tephra particles and determine that volcanic shards extracted from a depth of 429.3 m in the GRIP ice core are likely due to the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption. The chemical composition of the tephra particles is consistent with the K-phonolitic composition of the Vesuvius juvenile ejecta and differs from the chemical composition of other major eruptions (≥ VEI 4) between 50–100 AD.