Late Holocene cryptotephra and a provisional 15ĝ€¯000-year Bayesian age model for Cascade Lake, Alaska

Lauren J. Davies, Britta J.L. Jensen, Darrell S. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple chronometers can be employed for dating Holocene palaeoenvironmental records, each with its own inherent strengths and weaknesses. Radiocarbon dating is one of the most widely used techniques for producing chronologies, but its application at high-latitude sites can sometimes be problematic. Here, cryptotephra were identified in a core from Cascade Lake, Arctic Alaska, and used to identify and resolve an age bias in Late Holocene radiocarbon dates from the top 1.42m of the sediment sequence. Identifiable geochemical populations of cryptotephra are shown to be present in detectable concentrations in sediment from the north flank of the Brooks Range for the first time. Major-element glass geochemical correlations are demonstrated between ultra-distal cryptotephra and reference samples from the Late Holocene caldera-forming eruption of Opala, Kamchatka, as well as three eruptions in North America: the White River Ash (northern lobe), Ruppert tephra and the Late Holocene caldera-forming eruption of Aniakchak. The correlated ages of these cryptotephra provide evidence for an old-carbon effect and support preliminary palaeomagnetic secular variation (PSV) correlated ages reported for Cascade Lake. Chronological data from Cascade Lake were then combined using a Bayesian approach to generate an age-depth model that extends back through the Late Holocene and provisionally to 15000calyrBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-141
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 11 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Palaeontology
  • Stratigraphy


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