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AGU: Geophysical Research Letters

 

Index Terms

  • 8408 - Volcano/climate interactions
  • 1115 - Radioisotope geochronology

Paper in Press

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2012GL054246

Climatic impact of the millennium eruption of Changbaishan volcano in China: New insights from high-precision radiocarbon wiggle-match dating

Key Points
  • A new chronology of AD 946 for the Millennium eruption of Changbaishan volcano
  • Millennium eruption has smaller climatic effects than implied by its magnitude

Authors:

Jiandong Xu

Bo Pan

Tanzhuo Liu

Irka Hajdas

Bo Zhao

Hongmei Yu

Ruoxin Liu

Ping Zhao

Changbaishan volcano in NE China, previously dated to have erupted around the mid 10th century AD, is renowned for producing one of the largest eruptions in history (VEI 6.8) and thus speculated to have substantial climatic impact. Here we report a new high-precision 14C wiggle-match age of AD 946 {plus minus} 3 obtained from a 264-year old tree trunk (with bark) killed during the eruption, using the OxCal's Bayesian modeling approach with 27 sequentially sampled annual rings of decadal intervals. The new chronology conforms well to the calendar date of AD 946 for the eruption inferred from historical documentary evidence. We find no stratospherically loaded sulfate spike that might be associated with the AD 946 eruption in the global volcanism record from the GISP2 ice core, suggesting the stratospheric sulfate aerosols produced during the eruption were not transported to the arctic region, due probably to its relatively low stratospheric sulfur emission and the seasonal effects of the eruption that likely occurred in the winter of AD 946-947. Since the stratospheric volcanic sulfates are the main cause of large-scale climate perturbations, this finding indicates that the Millennium eruption of Changbaishan volcano might have limited regional climatic effects, rather than global or hemispheric impact as implied by its magnitude.

Received 15 October 2012; accepted 02 December 2012.

Citation: Xu, J., B. Pan, T. Liu, I. Hajdas, B. Zhao, H. Yu, R. Liu, and P. Zhao (2012), Climatic impact of the millennium eruption of Changbaishan volcano in China: New insights from high-precision radiocarbon wiggle-match dating, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL054246, in press.