Project Information
Collaborative Research: Volcanic Record in Antarctic Ice: Implications for Climatic and Eruptive History and Ice Sheet Dynamics of the South Polar Region
Start Date:
End Date:
Taylor Dome Ice Core
Dunbar/Kyle OPP 9527373 Zielinski OPP 9527824 Abstract The Antarctic ice sheets are ideal places to preserve a record the volcanic ash (tephra) layers and chemical aerosol signatures of volcanic eruptions. This record, which is present both in areas of bare blue ice, as well as in deep ice cores, consists of a combination of local eruptions, as well as eruptions from more distant volcanic sources from which glassy shards can be chemically fingerprinted and related to a source volcano. Field work carried out during the 1994/1995 Antarctic field season in the Allan Hills area of Antarctica, and subsequent microbeam chemical analysis and 40Ar/39Ar dating has shown that tephra layers in deep Antarctic ice preserve a coherent, systematic stratigraphy, and can be successfully mapped, dated, chemically fingerprinted and tied to source volcanoes. The combination of chemical fingerprinting of glass shards, and chemical analysis of volcanic aerosols associated with ash layers will allow establishment of a high-resolution chronology of local and distant volcanism that can help understand patterns of significant explosive volcanisms and atmospheric loading and climactic effects associated with volcanic eruptions. Correlation of individual tephra layers, or sets of layers, in blue ice areas, which have been identified in many places the Transantarctic Mountains, will allow the geometry of ice flow in these areas to be better understood and will provide a useful basis for interpreting ice core records.
Person Role
Dunbar, Nelia Investigator
Zielinski, Gregory Investigator
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 9615167
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 9527373
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
0 (raw data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
USAP-DC Tephra in Siple and Taylor Dome Ice Cores None exist
USAP-DC Blue Ice Tephra II - Brimstone Peak None exist
USAP-DC Blue Ice Tephra II - Mt. DeWitt None exist
USAP-DC Volcanic Records in the Siple and Taylor Dome Ice Cores None exist
  1. Dunbar, N. W., Iverson, N. A., Smellie, J. L., McIntosh, W. C., Zimmerer, M. J., & Kyle, P. R. (2021). Chapter 7.4 Active volcanoes in Marie Byrd Land. Geological Society, London, Memoirs, 55(1), 759–783. (doi:10.1144/m55-2019-29)
  2. Dunbar, N. W., & Kurbatov, A. V. (2011). Tephrochronology of the Siple Dome ice core, West Antarctica: correlations and sources. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30(13-14), 1602–1614. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.03.015)

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