Electron microprobe correlation of tephra layers from Eastern Mediterranean abyssal sediments and the Island of Santorini

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Five widespread tephra layers are found in late Quaternary sediments (0-130,000 yr B.P.) of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These layers have been correlated among abyssal cores and to their respective terrestrial sources by electron-probe microanalysis of glass and pumice shards. Major element variations are sufficient to discriminate unambiguously between the five major layers. Oxygen isotope stratigraphy in one of the cores studied was used to data four of the five layers. Two of the widespread layers are derived from explosive eruptions of the Santorini volcanic complex: the Minoan Ash (3370 yr B.P.) and the Acrotiri Ignimbrite (18,000 yr B.P.). An additional layer, found in one core only, is most likely correlated to the Middle Pumice Series of Santorini (approximately 100,000 yr B.P.). Two layers are correlated to deposits on the islands of Yali and Kos and date to 31,000 and 120,000 yr B.P., respectively. One layer originated from the Neapolitan area of Italy 38,000 yr B.P. © 1980.

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Quaternary Research