Holocene tephra from Iceland and Alaska in SE Greenland Shelf Sediments
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The record of Icelandic volcanic events in Holocene marine sediments off SE Greenland provides evidence for the frequency and timing of atmospheric tephra plume dispersal from Iceland towards Greenland. Geochemistry of tephra abundance peaks from two SE Greenland shelf cores: MD99-2322 and JM96-1215-2GC are compared with core MD99-2269, north Iceland shelf, to evaluate the dispersal direction of Icelandic eruptions. Glass shard counts (106–1000 µm) in MD99-2322 revealed 16 distinct cryptotephra peaks. Geochemical analyses of eight cryptotephra peaks in MD99-2322 and two in JM96-1215 indicate sources in the volcanic systems of Iceland and Alaska. A tephra layer matching in geochemistry and stratigraphy to the c. 3600 BP eruption of the Aniakchak Volcano in the Aleutian Islands was identified in JM96-1215/2GC. The Settlement Tephra (AD 871±2) and Hekla B (H-B) were identified in MD99-2322. A new marker horizon, Katla EG-6.73, was found in both SE Greenland cores. Three basaltic peaks between 9.9 and 10.4 cal kyr BP, exhibit major-element geochemistry indistinguishable from the c. 10.2 kyr Saksunarvatn tephra. These layers represent 3 out of≥seven westward and northward-dispersed Grímsvötn layers found on the SE Greenland shelf and the north Iceland shelf between 9.9 and 10.4 cal kyr BP.