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Reconstructing the Plinian and co-ignimbrite sources of large volcanic eruptions: a novel approach for the Campanian Ignimbrite

Marti, Alejandro; Folch, Arnau; Costa, Antonio; Engwell, Samantha. 2016 Reconstructing the Plinian and co-ignimbrite sources of large volcanic eruptions: a novel approach for the Campanian Ignimbrite. Scientific Reports, 6, 21220. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep21220

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Abstract/Summary

The 39 ka Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) super-eruption was the largest volcanic eruption of the past 200 ka in Europe. Tephra deposits indicate two distinct plume forming phases, Plinian and co-ignimbrite, characteristic of many caldera-forming eruptions. Previous numerical studies have characterized the eruption as a single-phase event, potentially leading to inaccurate assessment of eruption dynamics. To reconstruct the volume, intensity, and duration of the tephra dispersal, we applied a computational inversion method that explicitly accounts for the Plinian and co-ignimbrite phases and for gravitational spreading of the umbrella cloud. To verify the consistency of our results, we performed an additional single-phase inversion using an independent thickness dataset. Our better-fitting two-phase model suggests a higher mass eruption rate than previous studies, and estimates that 3/4 of the total fallout volume is co-ignimbrite in origin. Gravitational spreading of the umbrella cloud dominates tephra transport only within the first hundred kilometres due to strong stratospheric winds in our best-fit wind model. Finally, tephra fallout impacts would have interrupted the westward migration of modern hominid groups in Europe, possibly supporting the hypothesis of prolonged Neanderthal survival in South-Western Europe during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/srep21220
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date made live: 18 May 2016 11:20 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513668

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