Tephrochronology, volcanology, geochronology and Quaternary palaeoclimatology
My main research interest is in the application of tephrochronology as a tool for refining the chronologies of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records and enabling their synchronisation over wide geographical areas. My research also focuses on utilisation of volcanic ash layers (tephra) preserved in distal sedimentary archives as crucial records of eruptive history. This is particularly important in volcanic settings where the preservation or exposure of tephra deposits associated with past eruptions is limited. This research relies heavily on the application of micro-analytical techniques (EPMA and LA-ICP-MS) to precisely geochemically characterise volcanic glasses of both proximal and distal tephra deposits, this detailed chemical fingerprinting allows precise tephra correlations and thus the reliable exchange of chronological information between the volcanic stratigraphy and the distal sedimentary archives.
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship: Lake Suigetsu and volcanic ash, the key to synchronising palaeoclimate archives.
This research looks to maximise the tephrochronological potential of the Lake Suigetsu (Honshu, Japan) sedimentary record through the identification of cryptotephra horizons, both in terms of facilitating the synchronisation of this key paleoclimate archive with other important climate records, but also enabling the reconstruction of a more complete record of volcanic history for the region.
Current Doctoral Students
Glass geochemistry of pyroclastic deposits from the Aeolian Islands in the last 50 ka: A proximal database for tephrochronology
Albert, PG, Tomlinson, EL, Smith, VC, Di Traglia, F, Pistolesi, M, Morris, A, Donato, P, De Rosa, R, Sulpizio, R, Keller, J, Rosi, M, Menzies, M
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
First integrated tephrochronological record for the last ∼190 kyr from the Fucino Quaternary lacustrine succession, central Italy
Giaccio, B, Niespolo, EM, Pereira, A, Nomade, S, Renne, PR, Albert, PG, Arienzo, I, Regattieri, E, Wagner, B, Zanchetta, G, Gaeta, M, Galli, P
Quaternary Science Reviews
Identification of the Changbaishan ‘Millennium’ (B-Tm) eruption deposit in the Lake Suigetsu (SG06) sedimentary archive, Japan: Synchronisation of hemispheric-wide palaeoclimate archives
Underestimated risks of recurrent long-range ash dispersal from northern Pacific Arc volcanoes.
Widespread ash dispersal poses a significant natural hazard to society, particularly in relation to disruption to aviation. Assessing the extent of the threat of far-travelled ash clouds on flight paths is substantially hindered by an incomplete volcanic history and an underestimation of the potential reach of distant eruptive centres. The risk of extensive ash clouds to aviation is thus poorly quantified. New evidence is presented of explosive Late Pleistocene eruptions in the Pacific Arc, currently undocumented in the proximal geological record, which dispersed ash up to 8000 km from source. Twelve microscopic ash deposits or cryptotephra, invisible to the naked eye, discovered within Greenland ice-cores, and ranging in age between 11.1 and 83.7 ka b2k, are compositionally matched to northern Pacific Arc sources including Japan, Kamchatka, Cascades and Alaska. Only two cryptotephra deposits are correlated to known high-magnitude eruptions (Towada-H, Japan, ca 15 ka BP and Mount St Helens Set M, ca 28 ka BP). For the remaining 10 deposits, there is no evidence of age- and compositionally-equivalent eruptive events in regional volcanic stratigraphies. This highlights the inherent problem of under-reporting eruptions and the dangers of underestimating the long-term risk of widespread ash dispersal for trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic flight routes.
Clarifying the distal to proximal tephrochronology of the Millennium (B–Tm) eruption, Changbaishan Volcano, northeast China
Chen, X-Y, Blockley, SPE, Tarasov, PE, Xu, Y-G, McLean, D, Tomlinson, EL, Albert, PG, Liu, J-Q, Müller, S, Wagner, M, Menzies, MA