Tephrochronology of marine sediments around the Island of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles volcanic arc

TitleTephrochronology of marine sediments around the Island of Montserrat, Lesser Antilles volcanic arc
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFisher, JK, Hart, MB, Smart, CW, Leng, MJ, Sparks, RSJ, Talling, PJ, Trofimovs, J
JournalSedimentary Record
Volume6
Pagination4-8
ISBN Number1543-8740
Abstract

The recent history of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, Lesser Antilles volcanic arc, is reconstructed using data obtained from recently drilled submarine cores.Tephra layers in these cores preserve a record of the volcanic history of Montserrat back to ~250 ka on the basis of micropaleontology and stable isotope stratigraphy. Stratigraphic relationships identified in the cores collected in 2002 and 2005 document the fate of both pyroclastic flows entering the ocean to the east of Montserrat and carbonate-rich turbidites sourced from the carbonate platforms surrounding the islands of the Lesser Antilles. Using oxygen isotope stratigraphy, micropalaeontological analysis and Carbon-14 dating, it can be shown that three significant volcanic events, including the on-going eruption, have occurred over the last 12 ka. Preceding this was a time of volcanic quiescence, with three carbonate-rich turbidite events being documented in many of the cores. Our data suggest that these events occurred during Marine Isotope Stage 2, following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and onset of post-glacial sea level rise.

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