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Effects of the Santorini (Thera) eruption on manganese behavior in Holocene sediments of the eastern Mediterranean

By Anja Reitz, J. Thomson, G.J. de Lange, D.R.H. Green, C.P. Slomp and A.C. Gebhardt

Abstract

The explosive eruption on the island of Santorini in ~1630 B.C. in Minoan times had a large environmental impact over the\ud eastern Mediterranean region. It has even been suggested that the Mn-enriched layer (the bMarker BedQ) above the most recent\ud sapropel (S1) in sediments of a crestal area of the Mediterranean Ridge gained Mn from a hydrothermal source related to the\ud Santorini eruption. Radiocarbon dating of two cores from this area sampled at high resolution demonstrate that this large Mn peak\ud in fact pre-dates the Santorini event by ~2.8 ky and forms part of a pattern seen in Mn profiles from all over the eastern\ud Mediterranean. This same Mn profile shape is altered in areas that experienced substantial deposits of either the tephra layer\ud emitted by the Santorini eruption or the turbidites that were triggered by it. Evidence of both of these perturbations is readily\ud identified from compositional element/Al and Sr/Ca profiles that are distinct from those of the enclosing sediments. In one core\ud with a 37 cm thick Santorini ash layer an oxidation front succeeded in penetrating the whole ash layer after emplacement to form a\ud Mn peak but is now retreating. In cores where thin (b15 cm) Santorini turbidites or ash layers lie above S1, oxidation fronts\ud initially form additional Mn peaks on top of the turbidites and subsequently alter the characteristic double peaked Mn profile shape\ud usually observed above sapropel S1

Topics: Aardwetenschappen, manganese, Santorini, diagenesis, sapropel S1
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/31404
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