Three new distal tephras in sediments spanning the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition in Scotland

Sean Pyne-O'Donnell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    53 Citations (Scopus)


    Three new microtephras are reported from a number of lake sites from the Inner Hebrides and Scottish mainland. One occurs stratigrapically in the middle of Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1) and has been named the Penifiler Tephra. It is rhyolitic and possesses a geochemical signature that is very similar to that of the Borrobol Tephra, which also occurs in three of the sequences reported here, but which lies close to the lower boundary of GI-1. The second occurs stratigraphically in the early Holocene below the Saksunarvatn Ash and is named the Ashik Tephra. This tephra is geochemically bimodal, with a rhyolitic component comparable to the An Druim Tephra that occurs later in the Holocene, and a basaltic component which is similar to the Saksunarvatn Ash. A third tephra occurs stratigraphically above the Saksunarvatn Ash and is provisionally named the Breakish Tephra. The consistent inter-site correlation demonstrated for these new tephras at several sites enhances the regional tephrostratigraphic framework, and increases the potential for correlating palaeoenvironmental events during GI-1 and the early Holocene. However, the occurrence of multiple tephras with similar geochemistry in close stratigraphic and temporal proximity has implications for the rigour with which tephrostratigraphic investigations must be performed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)559-570
    JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • tephrocorrelation
    • Borrobol Tephra
    • Penifiler Tephra
    • Saksunarvatn Ash
    • Ashik Tephra
    • Breakish Tephra

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