Ocean-rafted pumice constrains postglacial relative sea-level and supports Holocene ice cap survival

W. R. Farnsworth*, W. Blake, E. R. Guðmundsdóttir, Ingólfsson, M. H. Kalliokoski, G. Larsen, A. J. Newton, B. A. Óladóttir, A. Schomacker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Distally deposited tephra from explosive volcanic eruptions can be a powerful tool for precise dating and correlation of sedimentary archives and landforms. However, the morphostratigraphic and chronological potential of ocean-rafted pumice has been under-utilized considering its long observational history and widespread distribution on modern and palaeo-shorelines around the world. Here we analyze the geochemical composition and elevation data of 60 samples of ocean-rafted pumice collected since 1958 from raised beaches on Svalbard. Comparison of pumice data with postglacial relative sea-level history suggests eight distinct pumice rafting events throughout the North Atlantic during the Middle and Late Holocene. Analyzed ocean-rafted pumice exhibit consistent silicic composition characteristic of deposits from Iceland's volcanic system, Katla. Eruption-triggered jökulhlaups are key drivers of the transport of pumice from the Katla caldera to beyond the coast of Iceland and into the surface currents of the North Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the correlation of distinct, high-concentration pumice horizons from Katla deposited along raised Middle Holocene beach ridges in Svalbard further advocates for the persistence of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap through the Holocene thermal maximum.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106654
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume250
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E. Toll?n and H.D. Gunnarsd?ttir are thanked for field assistance and sample collection during the respective 1958 and 2019 field campaigns. M. Retelle, J. Smol and E. Blake are thanked for their support with accessing the 1958 Lady Franklinfjorden archive. The 1958 fieldwork was supported by the Foreign Field Research Program, National Academy of Science, USA, as well as the Geography Branch, Office of Naval Research, USA, and by Profs. G. Hoppe, V. Schytt, R. Goldthwait, and G. Liljequist (to WB). Recent field campaigns were funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (CF14-0756 to AS), The Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund (Project 16/35 to WRF), and the Department of Arctic Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (to ?I). We acknowledge funding from the Nordic Volcanological Center at the University of Iceland for data analysis. S. Stein??rsson, R.H. R?narsd?ttir and G.H. Gu?finnsson are kindly acknowledged for support with sample preparation and the electron microprobe. We kindly acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for thier constructive comments. Farnsworth would like to thank J. Moreno for providing an early introduction to this topic.

Funding Information:
E. Tollén and H.D. Gunnarsdóttir are thanked for field assistance and sample collection during the respective 1958 and 2019 field campaigns. M. Retelle, J. Smol and E. Blake are thanked for their support with accessing the 1958 Lady Franklinfjorden archive. The 1958 fieldwork was supported by the Foreign Field Research Program, National Academy of Science, USA, as well as the Geography Branch, Office of Naval Research, USA, and by Profs. G. Hoppe, V. Schytt, R. Goldthwait, and G. Liljequist (to WB). Recent field campaigns were funded by the Carlsberg Foundation (CF14-0756 to AS), The Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund (Project 16/35 to WRF ), and the Department of Arctic Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (to ÓI). We acknowledge funding from the Nordic Volcanological Center at the University of Iceland for data analysis. S. Steinþórsson, R.H. Rúnarsdóttir and G.H. Guðfinnsson are kindly acknowledged for support with sample preparation and the electron microprobe. We kindly acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for thier constructive comments. Farnsworth would like to thank J. Moreno for providing an early introduction to this topic.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)

Other keywords

  • Holocene thermal maximum
  • Iceland
  • Katla
  • Svalbard
  • Tephrochronology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Ocean-rafted pumice constrains postglacial relative sea-level and supports Holocene ice cap survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this