Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Geological Oceanographers Investigate Possible Link Between Last Ice Age And Volcanic Eruptions In Indonesia

Date:
January 28, 2004
Source:
University Of Rhode Island
Summary:
Approximately 75,000 years ago, a massive explosive eruption from a volcano in western Indonesia (Toba caldera) coincided with the onset of the Earth?s last Ice Age.

Narragansett, RI -- January 26, 2004 -- Approximately 75,000 years ago, a massive explosive eruption from a volcano in western Indonesia (Toba caldera) coincided with the onset of the Earth?s last Ice Age.

In the current issue of Geology, University of Rhode Island geological oceanographers Meng-Yang Lee and Steven Carey; Chang-Hwa Chen and Yoshiyuki Iizuka of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan; and Kuo-Yen Wei of National Taiwan University describe their investigation into the possibility that eruptions from the Toba caldera on the island of Sumatra caused a severe "volcanic winter" and the initiation of a glacial period.

The magnitude of the oldest Toba eruptions had not previously been documented due to the difficulty in recognizing their widespread erupted products in marine sediments. Lee and the team of scientists present new data on the distribution of volcanic ash from the oldest Toba eruption in Ocean Drilling Program cores and piston cores in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. By using high-resolution litho-, magneto-, and oxygen isotope stratigraphic records, the geologists were able to clarify the correlation between distribution patterns in the cores, refine the age of the layers, and reestimate the eruptive volume of the early eruption of Toba.

The results of their analysis indicate that the glass shards from the first Toba eruption 788,000 years ago were dispersed more than 2000 miles from the source. Fallout from the eruption was deposited from clouds that drifted over both the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, producing an extensive ash blanket that may have been comparable in size to that of the last Toba eruption 75,000 years ago.

Comparing material from the oldest Toba eruption to that of the youngest, or last, Toba eruption, the scientists were able to draw surprising conclusions. The youngest Toba eruption (75,000 years ago) has been proposed as a triggering mechanism for the onset of large-scale glaciation, which brought the last interglacial stage to its end. The coincidence of the oldest Toba eruption with the transition from a glacial stage to an interglacial stage, however, appears to be an opposite effect.

Although the estimated volume of the oldest Toba eruption is not as large as the youngest Toba, they are both enormous eruptions involving discharges of tremendous amounts of magma. However, the warming trend following the oldest supereruption of the Toba appears to suggest that factors other than volcanism have played more influencing roles in governing glacial to interglacial transitions over the last 3 million years.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country's largest marine science education programs, and one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, harmful algal blooms, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, and the National Sea Grant Library.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rhode Island. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rhode Island. "Geological Oceanographers Investigate Possible Link Between Last Ice Age And Volcanic Eruptions In Indonesia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040127081754.htm>.
University Of Rhode Island. (2004, January 28). Geological Oceanographers Investigate Possible Link Between Last Ice Age And Volcanic Eruptions In Indonesia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040127081754.htm
University Of Rhode Island. "Geological Oceanographers Investigate Possible Link Between Last Ice Age And Volcanic Eruptions In Indonesia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040127081754.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

AFP (Sep. 12, 2014) In June 2013, 10 foreign mountaineers and their guide were murdered on Nanga Parbat, an iconic peak that stands at 8,126m tall in northern Pakisan. Duration: 02:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins