The ~16-ka-long record of explosive eruptions from Shiveluch volcano (Kamchatka, NW Pacific) is refined using geochemical fingerprinting of tephra and radiocarbon ages. Volcanic glass from 77 prominent Holocene tephras and four Late Glacial tephra packages was analyzed by electron microprobe. Eruption ages were estimated using 113 radiocarbon dates for proximal tephra sequence. These radiocarbon dates were combined with 76 dates for regional Kamchatka marker tephra layers into a single Bayesian framework taking into account the stratigraphic ordering within and between the sites. As a result, we report ~1,700 high-quality glass analyses from Late Glacial–Holocene Shiveluch eruptions of known ages. These define the magmatic evolution of the volcano and provide a reference for correlations with distal fall deposits. Shiveluch tephras represent two major types of magmas, which have been feeding the volcano during the Late Glacial–Holocene time: Baidarny basaltic andesites and Young Shiveluch andesites. Baidarny tephras erupted mostly during the Late Glacial time (~16–12.8 ka BP) but persisted into the Holocene as subordinate admixture to the prevailing Young Shiveluch andesitic tephras (~12.7 ka BP–present). Baidarny basaltic andesite tephras have trachyandesite and trachydacite (SiO2 < 71.5 wt%) glasses. The Young Shiveluch andesite tephras have rhyolitic glasses (SiO2 > 71.5 wt%). Strongly calc-alkaline medium-K characteristics of Shiveluch volcanic glasses along with moderate Cl, CaO and low P2O5 contents permit reliable discrimination of Shiveluch tephras from the majority of other large Holocene tephras of Kamchatka. The Young Shiveluch glasses exhibit wave-like variations in SiO2 contents through time that may reflect alternating periods of high and low frequency/volume of magma supply to deep magma reservoirs beneath the volcano. The compositional variability of Shiveluch glass allows geochemical fingerprinting of individual Shiveluch tephra layers which along with age estimates facilitates their use as a dating tool in paleovolcanological, paleoseismological, paleoenvironmental and archeological studies. Electronic tables accompanying this work offer a tool for statistical correlation of unknown tephras with proximal Shiveluch units taking into account sectors of actual tephra dispersal, eruption size and expected age. Several examples illustrate the effectiveness of the new database. The data are used to assign a few previously enigmatic wide-spread tephras to particular Shiveluch eruptions. Our finding of Shiveluch tephras in sediment cores in the Bering Sea at a distance of ~600 km from the source permits re-assessment of the maximum dispersal distances for Shiveluch tephras and provides links between terrestrial and marine paleoenvironmental records.
- Explosive eruptions
- Volcanic glass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)