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Volcanism in the Chaîne des Puys: new data from tephras

Several Chrono-environment geologists signed an article in Quaternary International which develops and extends the tephrochronological framework of France during the glacial and Holocene periods.

Several Chrono-environment geologists have published an article in Quaternary International that develops and extends the tephrochronological framework of France during the glacial and Holocene periods.

In three peat bogs located in the south-eastern part of the French Massif Central, six new tephras (or volcanic ash deposits) were detected, characterized via the chemical composition of the volcanic glass constituting them and dated. Most of these tephras were deposited between 13,500 and 9,500 cal. years ago, but the youngest, characterised by an acidic (rhyolitic) chemical composition unusual for the Massif Central, was deposited between 6,396 and 5,920 cal. years ago.
At present, the source volcanoes of some of these tephra are unknown, but the results of this research provide new information on the recent volcanic activity, chemical evolution and variety of volcanism in the Chaîne des Puys. This study also clarifies the dispersion of tephras emitted by the volcanoes of the Chaîne des Puys. Three of them (Téphras de la Nugère, Vasset-Kilian and MF1) have already been identified in the Jura, in the Northern Alps and on the Swiss Plateau. The researchers’ data confirm their origin and allow the construction of a tephrostratigraphic framework for the eastern and south-eastern part of the Chaîne des Puys, and allow correlations with sites in northern Europe.

G. Jouannic, A.-V. Walter-Simonnet, G. Bossuet, P. Boivin, H. Cubizolle, E. Delabrousse, A.-L. Develle, J.-L. Devidal, C. Oberlin, B. Pigny (2022). Developing and expanding the Late-Glacial and Holocene tephrochronological framework of France: A new contribution from the Chaîne des Puys volcanic field in the Massif Central, Quaternary International.

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