Holocene volcanic history as recorded in the sulfate stratigraphy of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C (EDC96) ice core

Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 110, D06114, doi:10.1029/2004JD005259, 2005

E. Castellano, S. Becagli, M. Severi, R. Traversi and R. Udisti
Department of Chemistry, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
M. Hansson
Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
M. Hutterli
Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
J.R. Petit
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement du CNRS, Saint-Martin-d'Heres Cedex, France.
M.R. Rampino
Earth and Environmental Science Program, New York University, New York, New York, USA.
J.P. Steffensen
Ice and Climate, The Niels Bohr Institute, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

A detailed history of Holocene volcanism was reconstructed using the sulfate record of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica Dome C (EDC96) ice core. This first complete Holocene volcanic record from an Antarctic core provides a reliable database to compare with long records from Antarctic and Greenland ice cores. A threshold method based on statistical treatment of the lognormal sulfate flux distribution was used to differentiate volcanic sulfate spikes from sulfate background concentrations. Ninety-six eruptions were identified in the EDC96 ice core during the Holocene, with a mean of 7.9 events per millennium. The frequency distribution (events per millennium) showed that the last 2000 years were a period of enhanced volcanic activity. EDC96 volcanic signatures for the last millennium are in good agreement with those recorded in other Antarctic ice cores. For older periods, comparison is in some cases less reliable, mainly because of dating uncertainties. Sulfate depositional fluxes of individual volcanic events vary greatly among the different cores. A volcanic flux normalization (volcanic flux/Tambora flux ratio) was used to evaluate the relative intensity of the same event recorded at different sites in the last millennium. Normalized flux variability for the same event showed the highest value in the 1100-1500 AD period. This pattern could mirror changes in regional transport linked to climatic variations such as slight warming stages in the Southern Hemisphere (Southern Hemisphere Medieval Warming-like period?).