Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 3307-3319, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in CP.
Potential impact of the 74 ka Toba eruption on the Balkan region, SE Europe
B. Wagner1, M. J. Leng2,3, T. Wilke4, A. Böhm1, K. Panagiotopoulos5, H. Vogel6, J. Lacey2,3, G. Zanchetta7, and R. Sulpizio8,9
1Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 49a, 50674 Cologne, Germany
2Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
3NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory (NIGL), British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
4Department of Animal Ecology & Systematics, Justus Liebig University, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26–32, 35392 Giessen, Germany
5Seminar of Geography and Education, University of Cologne, Gronewaldstraße 2, 50931 Cologne, Germany
6Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
7Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Pisa, via S. Maria 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
8Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e Geoambientali, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
9IDPA-CNR, via Mario Bianco 9, Milan, Italy

Abstract. The 74 ka Toba eruption in Sumatra, Indonesia, is considered to be one of the largest volcanic events during the Quaternary. Tephra from the Toba eruption has been found in many terrestrial and marine sedimentary deposits, and acidity peaks related to the eruption have been used to synchronize ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica. Seismic profiles from Lake Prespa on the Balkan Peninsula, SE Europe, indicate a lake level lowstand, which is confirmed by the occurrence of an exceptional bivalve shell layer of Dreissena sp. in the sediment record, the isotope composition of the shells, as well as pollen data. ESR dating and extrapolation of the tephra and radiocarbon chronologies indicate that this lowstand occurred at 73.6 ± 7.7 ka. Our data, showing a short term shift to aridity superimposed on the general cooling trend at the end of MIS 5 and coupled with the chronological correspondence to the Toba eruption imply a distinct impact of the Toba eruption on environmental conditions in the northern Mediterranean region. The recovery from this dramatic environmental condition, in turn, may have triggered spatial expansion events in one of the lake's most abundant benthic species, the carino mussel Dreissena presbensis.

Citation: Wagner, B., Leng, M. J., Wilke, T., Böhm, A., Panagiotopoulos, K., Vogel, H., Lacey, J., Zanchetta, G., and Sulpizio, R.: Potential impact of the 74 ka Toba eruption on the Balkan region, SE Europe, Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 3307-3319, doi:10.5194/cpd-9-3307-2013, 2013.
Search CPD
Discussion Paper