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The Toba Volcanic Event and Interstadial/Stadial Climates at the Marine Isotopic Stage 5 to 4 Transition in the Northern Indian Ocean

  • Hartmut Schulz (a1), Kay-Christian Emeis (a1), Helmut Erlenkeuser (a2), Ulrich von Rad (a3) and Christian Rolf (a4)...


The Toba volcanic event, one of the largest eruptions during the Quaternary, is documented in marine sediment cores from the northeastern Arabian Sea. On the crest of the Murray Ridge and along the western Indian continental margin, we detected distinct concentration spikes and ash layers of rhyolithic volcanic shards near the marine isotope stage 5–4 boundary with the chemical composition of the “Youngest Toba Tuff.” Time series of the Uk′ 37-alkenone index, planktic foraminiferal species, magnetic susceptibility, and sediment accumulation rates from this interval show that the Toba event occurred between two warm periods lasting a few millennia. Using Toba as an instantaneous stratigraphic marker for correlation between the marine- and ice-core chronostratigraphies, these two Arabian Sea climatic events correspond to Greenland interstadials 20 and 19, respectively. Our data sets thus depict substantial interstadial/stadial fluctuations in sea-surface temperature and surface-water productivity. We show that variable terrigenous (eolian) sediment supply played a crucial role in transferring and preserving the productivity signal in the sediment record. Within the provided stratigraphic resolution of several decades to centennials, none of these proxies shows a particular impact of the Toba eruption. However, our results are additional support that Toba, despite its exceptional magnitude, had only a minor impact on the evolution of low-latitude monsoonal climate on centennial to millennial time scales.



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The Toba Volcanic Event and Interstadial/Stadial Climates at the Marine Isotopic Stage 5 to 4 Transition in the Northern Indian Ocean

  • Hartmut Schulz (a1), Kay-Christian Emeis (a1), Helmut Erlenkeuser (a2), Ulrich von Rad (a3) and Christian Rolf (a4)...


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