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Campanian ignimbrite volcanism, climate, and the final decline of the Neanderthals

Benjamin A. Black, Ryan R. Neely and Michael Manga
Campanian ignimbrite volcanism, climate, and the final decline of the Neanderthals
Geology (Boulder) (March 2015) 43 (5): 411-414


The eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite at ca. 40 ka coincided with the final decline of Neanderthals in Europe. Environmental stress associated with the eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite has been invoked as a potential driver for this extinction as well as broader upheaval in Paleolithic societies. To test the climatic importance of the Campanian eruption, we used a three-dimensional sectional aerosol model to simulate the global aerosol cloud after release of 50 Tg and 200 Tg SO (sub 2) . We coupled aerosol properties to a comprehensive earth system model under last glacial conditions. We find that peak cooling and acid deposition lasted one to two years and that the most intense cooling sidestepped hominin population centers in Western Europe. We conclude that the environmental effects of the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption alone were insufficient to explain the ultimate demise of Neanderthals in Europe. Nonetheless, significant volcanic cooling during the years immediately following the eruption could have impacted the viability of already precarious populations and influenced many aspects of daily life for Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 43
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Campanian ignimbrite volcanism, climate, and the final decline of the Neanderthals
Affiliation: University of California, Berkeley, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Berkeley, CA, United States
Pages: 411-414
Published: 20150319
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2015-039968
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2015145
Illustration Description: illus.
N40°00'00" - N41°30'00", E13°45'00" - E15°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Leeds, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201519
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