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Driven by successful achievements in recovering high-resolution ice records of climate and atmospheric composition through the Late Quaternary, new ice–tephra sequences from various sites of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) have been studied in the last two decades spanning an age range of a few centuries to 800 kyr. The tephrostratigraphic framework for the inner EAIS, based on ash occurrence in three multi-kilometre-deep ice cores, shows that the South Sandwich Islands represent a major source for tephra, highlighting the major role in the ash dispersal played by clockwise circum-Antarctic atmospheric circulation penetrating the Antarctic continent. Tephra records from the eastern periphery of the EAIS, however, are obviously influenced by explosive activity sourced in nearby Antarctic rift provinces. These tephra inventories have provided a fundamental complement to the near-vent volcanic record, in terms of both frequency/chronology of explosive volcanism and of magma chemical evolution through time. Despite recent progress, current data are still sparse. There is a need for further tephra studies to collect data from unexplored EAIS sectors, along with extending the tephra inventory back in time. Ongoing international palaeoclimatic initiatives of ice-core drilling could represent a significant motivation for the tephra community and for Quaternary Antarctic volcanologists.

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