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Volcanic eruption frequency over the last 45 ky as recorded in Epica-Dome C ice core (East Antarctica) and its relationship with climatic changes

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The sulphate glacio-chemical profiles constitute a reliable proxy marker for reconstruction of past volcanic history, assuming a reliable method to distinguish sulphate spikes and to evaluate the flux of individual events is set up. The resulting volcanic event profile is used to reconstruct past event frequencies, and to investigate possible links between volcanism and climatic changes. Volcanic event signatures are useful also in comparing time scales from ice cores drilled at different locations. In this paper, a new method to pick out volcanic signals is proposed. It improves on methods based on the calculation of a threshold using a general mean value plus a multiple of the standard deviation by adding: (1) quantification of nonvolcanic sulphate contributions; (2) sulphate fluxes, instead of concentrations, accounting for accumulation rate changes; (3) data treatment using a log-normal statistic, instead of a Gaussian-type distribution, to take into account the real sulphate distribution; (4) a smoothed curve (weighted fitting) to better understand the residual variability of the sulphate background. This method is used to detect volcanic events throughout the 45 ky time span of the EDC96 ice core, drilled at Dome C on the East Antarctic plateau. A total of 283 volcanic signatures are recovered, with a mean of 6.3 events per millennium. The temporal event frequencies indicate that the last 2000 years were probably characterized by the highest volcanic activity in the period covered by the core and that there is no clear link between number of events recorded and climatic changes.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftGlobal and Planetary Change
Vol/bind42
Udgave nummer1-4
Sider (fra-til)195-205
Antal sider11
ISSN0921-8181
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2004

ID: 232015252