Discovery of the Toba Ash (c. 70 ka) in a high-resolution core recovering millennial monsoonal variability off Pakistan
Published:January 01, 2002
Ulrich Von Rad, Klaus-Peter Burgath, Muhammad Pervaz, Hartmut Schulz, 2002. "Discovery of the Toba Ash (c. 70 ka) in a high-resolution core recovering millennial monsoonal variability off Pakistan", The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region, P. D. Clift, D. Kroon, C. Gaedicke, J. Craig
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A discrete Toba Ash layer in the northeastern Arabian Sea was detected near the base of a 20.2 m long piston core (289KL) recovered from the oxygen minimum zone off the Indus delta. In addition to the Toba Ash, we discovered two highly disseminated, vitreous, rhyolitic ‘ash layers’ in two annually laminated box cores: a ‘Younger Ash’ (about AD 1885— 1900), and an ‘Older Ash’ (about AD 1815-1830). The glass shards were probably derived from eruptions of Indonesian volcanoes, although it was not possible to correlate these two ashes with well-known historical eruptions. We discuss source, transport and deposition of distal ash-fall layers in the Arabian Sea, which are derived from violent ultra-Plinian eruptions on the Indonesian volcanic archipelago, as well as their use for palaeoclimatic correlation. Core 289KL has a complete, high-resolution stratigraphic record of the past 75 ka with 21 interstadials (IS) or Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) cycles and equivalents of Heinrich events H1-H6. The high-frequency record of this core shows rapid climate oscillations with periods around 1.5 ka and can be tuned precisely to the 5,8O record of a Bay of Bengal core and to the GISP-2 ice core from Greenland. The Toba event (70 ± 4 ka bp), which is well documented in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal records at the end of IS-20, as well as in the Greenland ice, is an excellent stratigraphic marker horizon to validate this correlation. The apparent synchronous appearance of the various D-0 oscillations and Heinrich events, which has been documented for many northern hemisphere localities, can be explained only by fairly rapid atmospheric circulation changes. Changes in the intensity of the Indian summer monsoon are tightly coupled with suborbital climate oscillations in the northern hemisphere via atmospheric moisture and heat circulation.
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The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region
Over long periods of time the tectonic evolution of the solid Earth has been recognized as the major control on the development of the global climate system. Tectonic activity acts in one of two different ways to influence regional and global climate: (i) through the opening and closing of oceanic gateways and its effect on the circulation patterns in the global ocean; (ii) through the growth and erosion of orogenic belts, resulting in changes in oceanic chemistry and disruption of atmospheric circulation. The Arabian Sea region has several features that make it the best area for studies of climate and palaeoceanographic responses to tectonic activity, most notably in the context of the South Asian monsoon and its relationship to the growth of high topography in the adjacent Himalayas and Tibet.
The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region brings together a collection of recent studies on the area from a wide group of international contributors. The paper range from high resolution, Holocene palaeoceanographic studies of the Pakistan margin to regional tectonic reconstructions of the ocean basin and surrounding margins throughout the Cenozoic. Marine geophysics, stratigraphy, isotope chemistry and neotectonics come together in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of interactions of land and sea. while much work remains to be done to understand fully the tectonic and climatic evolution of the Arabian Sea, a great deal has been achieved since the last major review, as detailed in the 26 contributions. This volume is essential reading for palaeoceanographers, sedimentologists and geophysicists. It will also be interest to structural geologists and those working in the petroleum industry.