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Direct Linking of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cores at the Toba Eruption (74 Kyr Bp) : Volume 8, Issue 6 (05/11/2012)

By Svensson, A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003982058
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 39
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Direct Linking of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cores at the Toba Eruption (74 Kyr Bp) : Volume 8, Issue 6 (05/11/2012)  
Author: Svensson, A.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Popp, T., Fischer, H., Blunier, T., Clausen, H. B., Kohno, M., Schwander, J.,...Severi, M. (2012). Direct Linking of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cores at the Toba Eruption (74 Kyr Bp) : Volume 8, Issue 6 (05/11/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The Toba eruption that occurred some 74 kyr ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, is among the largest volcanic events on Earth over the last 2 million years. Tephra from this eruption has been spread over vast areas in Asia where it constitutes a major time marker close to the Marine Isotope Stage 4/5 boundary. As yet, no tephra associated with Toba has been identified in Greenland or Antarctic ice cores. Based on new accurate dating of Toba tephra from Malaysia and on accurately dated European stalagmites the Toba event is known to occur between the onsets of Greenland Interstadials (GI) 19 and 20. Furthermore, the existing linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores by gas records and by the bipolar seesaw hypothesis suggests that the Antarctic counterpart is situated between Antarctic Isotope Maxima (AIM) 19 and 20.

In this work we suggest a direct synchronization of Greenland (NGRIP) and Antarctic (EDML) ice cores at the Toba eruption based on matching of a pattern of bipolar volcanic spikes. Annual layer counting between volcanic spikes in both cores allows for a unique match. We first demonstrate this bipolar matching technique at the already synchronized Laschamp geomagnetic excursion (41 kyr BP) before we apply it to the suggested Toba interval. The Toba synchronization pattern covers some 2000 yr in GI-20 and AIM 19/20 and includes nine acidity peaks that are recognized in both ice cores.

The suggested bipolar Toba synchronization has decadal precision. It thus allows a determination of the exact phasing of inter-hemispheric climate in a time interval of poorly constrained ice core records, and it allows for a discussion of the climatic impact of the Toba eruption in a global perspective. Furthermore, our bipolar match provides a way to place paleo-environmental records other than ice cores into a precise climatic context.

Direct linking of Greenland and Antarctic ice cores at the Toba eruption (74 kyr BP)

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