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Effects of the Santorini (Thera) eruption on manganese behavior in Holocene sediments of the eastern Mediterranean

Reitz, A.; Thomson, J.; de Lange, G.J.; Green, D.R.H.; Slomp, C.P.; Gebhardt, A.C.. 2006 Effects of the Santorini (Thera) eruption on manganese behavior in Holocene sediments of the eastern Mediterranean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 241 (1-2). 188-201. 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.10.027

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Abstract/Summary

The explosive eruption on the island of Santorini in 1630 B.C. in Minoan times had a large environmental impact over the eastern Mediterranean region. It has even been suggested that the Mn-enriched layer (the “Marker Bed”) above the most recent sapropel (S1) in sediments of a crestal area of the Mediterranean Ridge gained Mn from a hydrothermal source related to the Santorini eruption. Radiocarbon dating of two cores from this area sampled at high resolution demonstrate that this large Mn peak in fact pre-dates the Santorini event by 2.8 ky and forms part of a pattern seen in Mn profiles from all over the eastern Mediterranean. This same Mn profile shape is altered in areas that experienced substantial deposits of either the tephra layer emitted by the Santorini eruption or the turbidites that were triggered by it. Evidence of both of these perturbations is readily identified from compositional element/Al and Sr/Ca profiles that are distinct from those of the enclosing sediments. In one core with a 37 cm thick Santorini ash layer an oxidation front succeeded in penetrating the whole ash layer after emplacement to form a Mn peak but is now retreating. In cores where thin (< 15 cm) Santorini turbidites or ash layers lie above S1, oxidation fronts initially form additional Mn peaks on top of the turbidites and subsequently alter the characteristic double peaked Mn profile shape usually observed above sapropel S1.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.10.027
ISSN: 0012-821X
Additional Keywords: manganese, Santorini, diagenesis, sapropel S1, eastern Mediterranean, molybdenum
Date made live: 23 Feb 2006 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/120377

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