Distal tephra record for the last ca 105,000 years from core PRAD 1-2 in the central Adriatic Sea: Implications for marine tephrostratigraphy

A. J. Bourne*, J. J. Lowe, F. Trincardi, A. Asioli, S. P.E. Blockley, S. Wulf, I. P. Matthews, A. Piva, L. Vigliotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Core PRAD 1-2, located on the western flank of the Mid-Adriatic Deep, contains a continuous sediment record extending back to upper MIS-11. The upper part of the record which spans the mid Holocene to MIS 5-4 (the last ca 105,000 years) has been investigated for tephra content. A total of 25 discrete tephra layers were discovered, only one of which was visible in the core sequence. The other 24 are not visible to the naked eye, nor were the majority detected by routine down-core scanning methods. A total of 625 geochemical measurements obtained from individual glass shards using WDS-EPMA enabled 21 of the 25 tephras to be assigned to known volcanic events emanating from the Campanian Province (Campi Flegrei, Somma-Vesuvius and Ischia Island). The results provide an independent basis for establishing an age-depth profile for the upper part of the PRAD 1-2 record. This study demonstrates that the number of non-visible tephra layers can significantly exceed the number of visible layers in some deep marine sequences. Routine testing for the presence of non-visible tephra layers can therefore prove rewarding, leading to the detection of additional isochrons for dating and correlating marine sequences, and for their synchronisation with terrestrial records.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3079-3094
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number23-24
Early online date21 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • UKRI
  • NERC
  • NE/E015905/1

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