Present day and paleo-geographic coordinates, thicknesses and isopach area of the Early Eocene +19 ash layer (Table 1)


23 layers of altered volcanic ash (bentonites) originating from the North Atlantic Igneous Province have been recorded in early Eocene deposits of the Austrian Alps, about 1,900 km away from the source area. The Austrian bentonites are distal equivalents of the ''main ash-phase'' in Denmark and the North Sea basin. We have calculated the total eruption volume of this series as 21,000 km3, which occurred in 600,000 years. The most powerful single eruption of this series took place 54.0 million years ago (Ma) and ejected ca. 1,200 km3 of ash material, which makes it one of the largest basaltic pyroclastic eruptions in geological history. The clustering of eruptions must have significantly affected the incoming solar radiation in the early Eocene by the continuous production of stratospheric dust and aerosol clouds. This hypothesis is corroborated by oxygen isotope values, which indicate a global decrease of sea surface temperatures between 1 and 2 C during this major phase of explosive volcanism.

0.00: samples with low foraminiferal amount / Age: Calendar age

Supplement to: Egger, Hans; Brückl, Ewald (2006): Gigantic volcanic eruptions and climatic change in the early Eocene. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 95, 1065-1070

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Egger, Hans; Brückl, Ewald
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2007
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 75 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (47.700W, -13.400S, 56.900E, 13.000N); Denmark, Jutland