Greenland ice core evidence of the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption
1Institute for the Dynamics of the Environmental Processes, CNR, University of Venice, 30123 Venice, Italy
2Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, University of Venice, Ca' Foscari, 30123 Venice, Italy
3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
4Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract. Volcanic tephra are indepenent age horizons and can synchronize strata of various paleoclimate records including ice and sediment cores. Before such paleoclimate records can be synchronized, it is essential to first confidently identify individual independent marker horizons. The Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) ice core from Central Greenland is often used as a "golden spike" to synchronize Northern Hemisphere paleoclimte records. The Holocene section of the GRIP ice core is dated by multi-parameter annual layer counting, and contains peaks in acidity, SO42− and microparticle concentrations at a depth of 428.4 to 429.6 m, which have not previously been definitively ascribed to a volcanic eruption. Here, we identify tephra particles and determine that volcanic shards extracted from a depth of 429.2 m in the GRIP ice core are likely due to the 79 AD Vesuvius eruption. The chemical compositon of the tephra particles is consistent with the K-phonolitic composition of the Vesuvius juvinile ejecta and differs from the chemical composition of other major eruptions (≥VEI 4) between 50–100 AD.