Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The interpretative value of transformed tephra sequences

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nick CutlerORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


We explore developments in tephra science that consider more than chronology, using casestudies morphological transformations of tephra deposits. Volcanic processes and prevailingweather conditions determine the distribution of tephra deposits immediately after an eruption,but as these freshly fallen tephra become part of the stratigraphic record, the thickness,morphology and definition of the layers they form changes, reflecting the interplay of thetephra, climate, Earth surface processes, topography and vegetation structure, plus direct orindirect modification caused by people and animals. Once part of the stratigraphic record,further diagnostic changes can happen to the morphology of tephra layers, such as the creationof over folds by cryoturbation. Thus, tephra layers may contain proxy evidence of both pastsurface environments and subsurface processes. Transformations of tephra deposits cancomplicate the reconstruction of past volcanic processes and make the application of classicaltephrochronology as pioneered by Thorarinsson (Sigurður Þórarinsson in Icelandic)challenging. However, as Thorarinsson also noted, novel sources of environmental data canexist within transformed tephra sequences that include the spread or removal of tephra,variations in layer thickness and internal structures, the nature of contact surfaces and theorientation of layers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dugmore AJ, Thompson PIJ, Streeter RS, Cutler NA, Newton AJ, Kirkbride MP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Quaternary Science

Year: 2019

Volume: 35

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 23-28

Print publication date: 29/01/2020

Online publication date: 18/12/2019

Acceptance date: 14/11/2019

Date deposited: 19/12/2019

ISSN (print): 0267-8179

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1417

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3174


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Richard Streeter