skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Iverson, Nels"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Chemical anomalies in polar ice core records are frequently linked to volcanism; however, without the presence of (crypto)tephra particles, links to specific eruptions remain speculative. Correlating tephras yields estimates of eruption timing and potential source volcano, offers refinement of ice core chronologies, and provides insights into volcanic impacts. Here, we report on sparse rhyolitic glass shards detected in the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core (West Antarctica), attributed to the 1.8 ka Taupō eruption (New Zealand)—one of the largest and most energetic Holocene eruptions globally. Six shards of a distinctive geochemical composition, identical within analytical uncertainties to proximal Taupō glass, are accompanied by a single shard indistinguishable from glass of the ~25.5 ka Ōruanui supereruption, also from Taupō volcano. This double fingerprint uniquely identifies the source volcano and helps link the shards to the climactic phase of the Taupō eruption. The englacial Taupō-derived glass shards coincide with a particle spike and conductivity anomaly at 278.84 m core depth, along with trachytic glass from a local Antarctic eruption of Mt. Melbourne. The assessed age of the sampled ice is 230 ± 19 CE (95% confidence), confirming that the published radiocarbon wiggle-match date of 232 ± 10 CE (2 SD) for the Taupō eruption is robust.

     
    more » « less
  2. IODP Expedition 379 deep-sea drilling in 2019 (Gohl et al. 2021, doi:10.14379/iodp.proc.379.2021), offered an opportunity to obtain chronostratigraphic control for seismic reflection data for Amundsen Sea shelf and slope deposits that record Miocene to Present fluctuations in volume of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Here we report the age and interpret the provenance of a volcanic ash bed recovered at/near the Plio-Pleistocene boundary at 31.51 meters below sea level in Hole U1533B and 33.94 mbsf in Hole U1533D. With distinctive geochemistry and inferred wide regional distribution, the bed may serve as a reliable age marker. In Hole 1533B, the fresh tephra forms a discrete layer interstratified within uniform brown marine mud. The layer has a sharp base and upper boundary that is gradational over 5 cm into overlying mud. Color reflectance and density data aided identification of the tephra horizon (diffuse) in Hole 1533D, ~1000m away. A possible on-land source for ash is the Miocene to Pleistocene Marie Byrd Land volcanic province, comprising 18 large alkaline volcanoes dominated by effusive lavas. Products of pyroclastic eruptions are uncommon, mainly occurring as distal englacial, and probably marine, tephra. We undertook an offshore-onshore comparison by first characterizing samples of Site U1533 tephra from a petrographic and geochemical standpoint, using thin section observations, EMPA-WDS glass compositions, and 40Ar/39Ar dating. We then identified onshore exposures with similar characteristics. The offshore tephra are composed of coarse (50-300µm) cuspate glass shards with elongated vesicles. The glass composition is rhyolite, with 75-79wt.% SiO2, ~4wt.% FeO and 0.0wt.% MgO. Single-crystal feldspar 40Ar/39Ar dates are 2.55±0.12 and 2.92±0.02 Ma for U1533B and 2.87 ±0.45 Ma for U1533D. The geochemistry, shard morphology, discrete bed expression, and lateral continuity between Holes U1533B-U1533D indicate that the rhyolite tephra formed as airfall settled to the deep seabed. The ca. 2.55 Ma age based on youngest feldspar grains differs slightly from the 2.1 to 2.2 Ma result obtained from in-progress core bio-magnetostratigraphy. Rare exposures of rhyolite are found in the Chang Peak/Mt. Waesche centers, 1080 km from Site U1533. We obtained pumice sample MB.7.3 (prior-published age of 1.6±0.2 Ma), which displays elevated FeO and F content, and MB.8.1, a specimen of porphyritic cryptocrystalline lava. Single-crystal sanidine 40Ar/39Ar dates are 1.315±0.007 Ma (MB.7.3) and 1.385±0.003 Ma (MB.8.1). Site U1533 samples share a geochemical affinity with these on-land rhyolites, expressed as similar SiO2, CaO, TiO2, MgO and FeO content, suggesting an origin for Site U1533 tephra in the Chang-Waesche volcanoes. A possible explanation for the distinctly greater age, and observed contrasts in Al2O3, Na2O and F percentages, is that Site U1533 tephra are older and erupted from a source entirely concealed beneath subsequent eruptions and the ice sheet. Our results suggest that rhyolite volcanism initiated earlier, was of longer duration than previously known (2.92 to 1.315 Ma), and dispersed tephra far offshore. The finding is significant because ash and aerosols produced by large eruptions may influence regional climate. Antarctica cooled significantly and ice sheets expanded in latest Pliocene time (McKay et al. 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1112248109). 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of pollen concentrates is often used in lake sediment records where large, terrestrial plant remains are unavailable. Ages produced from chemically concentrated pollen as well as manually picked Pinaceae grains in Yellowstone Lake (Wyoming) sediments were consistently 1700–4300 cal years older than ages established by terrestrial plant remains, tephrochronology, and the age of the sediment-water interface. Previous studies have successfully utilized the same laboratory space and methods, suggesting the source of old-carbon contamination is specific to these samples. Manually picking pollen grains precludes admixture of non-pollen materials. Furthermore, no clear source of old pollen grains occurs on the deglaciated landscape, making reworking of old pollen grains unlikely. High volumes of CO 2 are degassed in the Yellowstone Caldera, potentially introducing old carbon to pollen. While uptake of old CO 2 through photosynthesis is minor (F 14 C approximately 0.99), old-carbon contamination may still take place in the water column or in surficial lake sediments. It remains unclear, however, what mechanism allows for the erroneous ages of highly refractory pollen grains while terrestrial plant remains were unaffected. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation for erroneously old radiocarbon ages from pollen concentrates, we propose steps for further study. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    A large volcanic sulfate increase observed in ice core records around 1450 C.E. has been attributed in previous studies to a volcanic eruption from the submarine Kuwae caldera in Vanuatu. Both EPMA–WDS (electron microprobe analysis using a wavelength dispersive spectrometer) and SEM–EDS (scanning electron microscopy analysis using an energy dispersive spectrometer) analyses of five microscopic volcanic ash (cryptotephra) particles extracted from the ice interval associated with a rise in sulfate ca. 1458 C.E. in the South Pole ice core (SPICEcore) indicate that the tephra deposits are chemically distinct from those erupted from the Kuwae caldera. Recognizing that the sulfate peak is not associated with the Kuwae volcano, and likely not a large stratospheric tropical eruption, requires revision of the stratospheric sulfate injection mass that is used for parameterization of paleoclimate models. Future work is needed to confirm that a volcanic eruption from Mt. Reclus is one of the possible sources of the 1458 C.E. sulfate anomaly in Antarctic ice cores.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract. The South Pole Ice Core (SPICEcore) was drilled in 2014–2016 to provide adetailed multi-proxy archive of paleoclimate conditions in East Antarcticaduring the Holocene and late Pleistocene. Interpretation of these recordsrequires an accurate depth–age relationship. Here, we present the SPICEcore (SP19) timescale for the age of the ice of SPICEcore. SP19 is synchronized to theWD2014 chronology from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide) icecore using stratigraphic matching of 251 volcanic events. These eventsindicate an age of 54 302±519 BP (years before 1950) at thebottom of SPICEcore. Annual layers identified in sodium and magnesium ionsto 11 341 BP were used to interpolate between stratigraphic volcanic tiepoints, yielding an annually resolved chronology through the Holocene.Estimated timescale uncertainty during the Holocene is less than 18 yearsrelative to WD2014, with the exception of the interval between 1800 to 3100BP when uncertainty estimates reach ±25 years due to widely spacedvolcanic tie points. Prior to the Holocene, uncertainties remain within 124 years relative to WD2014. Results show an average Holocene accumulation rateof 7.4 cm yr−1 (water equivalent). The time variability of accumulation rateis consistent with expectations for steady-state ice flow through the modernspatial pattern of accumulation rate. Time variations in nitrateconcentration, nitrate seasonal amplitude and δ15N of N2 in turn are as expected for the accumulation rate variations. The highlyvariable yet well-constrained Holocene accumulation history at the site canhelp improve scientific understanding of deposition-sensitive climateproxies such as δ15N of N2 and photolyzed chemicalcompounds. 
    more » « less