Jökulsárlón, Iceland, July 2012

Stefan Wastegård

Professor i kvartärgeologi med inriktning mot kvartärstratigrafi

View page in English
Arbetar vid Institutionen för naturgeografi
Telefon 08-16 48 92
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Rum X 420
Postadress Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Min forskning  behandlar klimat- och miljöförändringar under kvartärperioden, dvs. de senaste 2,6 miljoner åren i jordens historia. Jag använder mig av vulkanaska från explosiva vulkanutbrott på bl.a. Island för att datera och korrelera klimatarkiv i området runt Nordatlanten. Askan eller tefran sprids med vindar i stratosfären och troposfären till bl.a. Skandinavien där den idag kan påträffas i sjösediment och torvlagerföljder. Metoden där vulkanaska används för datering kallas tefrokronologi.

Läs mer om tefrokronologi i länkarna och filerna till höger på sidan och på min engelska hemsida

Jag undervisar om kvartärgeologi och klimatförändingar på kandidat- och mastersnivå bl.a. på följande kurser:

GE2011, Naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi, 30 hp
GE4009, Geomorfologi och jordartslära, 10 hp
GE7056, Kvartär klimathistoria, 7,5 hp
GE7057, Kvartära dateringsmetoder, 7,5 hp
GE7063, Globala klimat- och miljöförändringar, 15 hp



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2016. Naomi Holmes (et al.). The Holocene 26 (5), 756-771

    The aim of this research was to create a decadal-scale terrestrial quantitative palaeoclimate record for NW Iceland from lake sediments for the last millennium. Geochemical, stable isotope and chironomid reconstructions were obtained from a lake sequence constrained by tephra deposits on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, western Iceland. Obtaining a quantitative record proved problematic, but the qualitative chironomid record showed clear trends associated with past summer temperatures, and the sedimentological records provided evidence for past changes in precipitation, mediated through catchment soil in-wash. When the full range of chronological uncertainty is considered, four clear phases of climatic conditions were identified: (1) a relatively warm phase between AD 1020 and 1310; (2) a relatively stable period between AD 1310 and 1510, cooler than the preceding period but still notably warmer than the second half of the millennium; (3) a consistent reduction of temperatures between AD 1560 and 1810, with the coolest period between AD 1680 and 1810; and (4) AD 1840-2000 has temperatures mainly warmer than in the preceding two centuries, with a rising trend and increased variability from c. AD 1900 onwards. The reconstructions show clearly that the first half of the millennium experienced warmer climatic conditions than the second half, with a return to the warmer climate only occurring in the last c. 100 years. Much of the variability of the chironomid record can be linked to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The reconstructions presented can track low-frequency and long-term trends effectively and consistently but high-resolution and calibrated quantitative records remain more of a challenge - not just in finding optimal sedimentary deposits but also in finding the most reliable proxy. It is this that presents the real challenge for Holocene climate reconstruction from this key area of the North Atlantic.

  • 2016. Ewa M. Lind (et al.). Boreas 45 (4), 629-643

    The Borrobol Tephra has been identified as one of the key tephra horizons for the Lateglacial time period but it also exemplifies many of the promises and problems of tephrochronology. Additional horizons with similar major element composition and approximately the same age have been identified around the North Atlantic region. Here, we revisit the Borrobol Tephra identified at two Swedish sites, Hasseldala port and Skallahult, and also the Borrobol type-site in Scotland. We present the first set of minor element data (trace and rare earth analyses) along with new analyses of major elements from these three sites. The analysed minor and the trace elements have a similar signature; however, the glass from the Scottish type-site seems to imply two populations. To answer if this truly represents two populations, or if it reflects magmatic differentiation additional and larger data sets of minor elements are needed. The new major elements are compared to other Borrobol-type tephras identified in the North Atlantic region. Our results are in line with earlier investigations, which showed no differences in major elements. Further, comparison of minor elements from glass analyses from our sites with those for eruptions associated with Icelandic central volcanoes implies an Icelandic origin for the Borrobol-type tephras.

  • 2016. Normunds Stivrins (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 31 (5), 437-441

    We report the first geochemically confirmed findings of the Askja volcano (Iceland) AD 1875 eruption cryptotephra in Eastern Europe. The cryptotephra finding in Latvia is the easternmost finding of the Askja AD 1875 so far, providing an important time marker in the sediments. Although low concentrations of Askja AD 1875 rhyolitic glass shards were recorded, our findings suggest the possibility of also tracing other historical cryptotephras in lacustrine and peat sediments in Eastern Europe. We use the Askja AD 1875 tephra isochrone to synchronize pollen data of human activities, i.e. rye (Secale cereale) cultivation. Our comparison of Secale pollen from two sites reveals that there were minor dissimilarities in the timing of highest rye cultivation, and that a synchronous decrease of rye cultivation occurred at both sites few years after the Askja eruption at AD 1875.

  • 2015. W. Clymans (et al.). Biogeosciences 12 (12), 3789-3804

    Biogenic silica (BSi) is used as a proxy by soil scientists to identify biological effects on the Si cycle and by palaeoecologists to study environmental changes. Alkaline extractions are typically used to measure BSi in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The dissolution properties of volcanic glass in tephra deposits and their nanocrystalline weathering products are hypothesized to overlap those of BSi; however, data to support this behaviour are lacking. The potential that Si-bearing fractions dissolve in alkaline media (Si-Alk) that do not necessarily correspond to BSi brings the applicability of BSi as a proxy into question. Here, analysis of 15 samples reported as tephra-containing allows us to reject the hypothesis that tephra constituents produce an identical dissolution signal to that of BSi during alkaline extraction. We found that dissolution of volcanic glass shards is incomplete during alkaline dissolution. Simultaneous measurement of Al and Si used here during alkaline dissolution provides an important parameter to enable us to separate glass shard dissolution from dissolution of BSi and other Si-bearing fractions. The contribution from volcanic glass shards (between 0.2 and 4 wt % SiO2), the main constituent of distal tephra, during alkaline dissolution can be substantial depending on the total Si-Alk. Hence, soils and lake sediments with low BSi concentrations are highly sensitive to the additional dissolution from tephra constituents and its weathering products. We advise evaluation of the potential for volcanic or other non-biogenic contributions for all types of studies using BSi as an environmental proxy.

  • 2014. Stefan Wastegård, Tine L. Rasmussen. Gas Generation and Migration in Deep Geological Radioactive Waste Repositories, 81-93

    A basaltic tephra layer from MIS 3 has been discovered by analysis of cores from the Faroe Islands margin. The tephra layer appears up to 20 cm thick in some records. After the first main fall-out event the tephra is believed to be mainly deposited and redistributed by bottom currents. Geochemical analyses suggest that the tephra is relatively undisturbed by allochtonous tephra grains and unmixed. The peak occurrences are in the lower part of GIS (Greenland Interstadial) 12 and we suggest naming this new tephra Faroe Marine Ash Zone IV (FMAZ IV), following the nomenclature adopted for previous ash zones found on the Faroe Islands margin. Geochemical analyses of the tephra show affinities with the Grimsvotn volcanic system in the Eastern Volcanic Zone in south Iceland. The average age of FMAZ IV from four independent age models is 46 800 +/- 1000 years BP. We suggest that the V5 ash zone, found on the Reykjanes Ridge is a correlative to the FMAZ IV.

  • 2014. F. D. Hibbert (et al.). Gas Generation and Migration in Deep Geological Radioactive Waste Repositories, 65-80

    The incidence of volcanic ash (tephra) within marine sediments serves as a useful stratigraphic marker and tool for correlation. In addition, where an independent age estimate exists, tephra layers can provide a means of dating the sediments themselves. Here we present a geochemically characterized, size sorted tephra layer within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6, most likely resulting from primary air-fall from an Icelandic volcanic source. This tephra layer is tentatively correlated to the Kerlingarfjoll volcanic system using major element geochemistry. The ash layer has an interpolated age of 181 +/- 6 ka based on the age model for MD04-2822. We briefly review the occurrence of silicic tephra in the North Atlantic region from MIS 7 to MIS 5e inclusive and find potential correlatives to the MD04-2822 MIS 6 ash layer in the Norway Basin and Irminger Sea.

  • 2014. A. Macleod (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 29 (7), 605-609

    Here we present a 710-year-long floating varve record from south-east Sweden. Tephra analyses confirm the presence of the rhyolitic Vedde Ash preserved within two consecutive varve years, confirming the Younger Dryas age of the varve series. This permits, for the first time, direct correlation of Swedish varved clay with other records of equivalent resolution which also preserve the Vedde Ash and demonstrates that the potential exists to independently date the Swedish Timescale. This discovery will allow direct comparison of rates, timing and duration of key climatic events across Europe and the North Atlantic region in records of equivalent resolution.

  • 2014. P. M. Abbott (et al.). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 409, 153-168

    Previous studies of marine sequences from the Faroe Islands region have identified a series of coarse-grained tephra horizons deposited during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. Here we reassess the MIS 5 tephrostratigraphy of the Faroe Islands region and focus on the cryptotephra deposits preserved within the fine-grained fraction of marine core LINK 16. We also extend the record to encompass the late MIS 6 and early MIS 4 periods. A density separation technique, commonly used for tephra investigations in lacustrine settings but rarely applied to marine sediments, is utilised to explore the fine-grained material and EPMA and LA-ICP-MS are employed to determine the major and trace element composition of individual tephra shards. In total, 3 basaltic and 3 rhyolitic Icelandic cryptotephra deposits with homogeneous geochemical compositions are identified - all of which have the potential to act as isochronous tie-lines. Geochemical results highlight that the Grimsvotn volcanic system of Iceland is the predominant source of the basaltic horizons and the Oraefajokull or Torfajokull systems are the likely sources of the rhyolitic deposits. Three of the horizons have been previously recognised in Faroe Islands region marine sequences, with two of these deposits traceable into a Norwegian Sea sequence. An early MIS 4 rhyolitic horizon is the most widespread deposit as it can be traced into the Norwegian Sea and to the south into a record from the Rockall Trough. Basaltic and rhyolitic horizons deposited during late MIS 6 have not been recognised in other sequences and represent new additions to the regional tephrostratigraphy.

  • 2013. Ewa Lind, Stefan Wastegard, Jeppe J. Larsen. Journal of Quaternary Science 28 (8), 803-811

    A number of rapid climate oscillations occur during the Lateglacial-Early Holocene, 15-8 ka BP period and a well-developed tephrostratigraphy in association with these oscillations increases the possibilities to correlate climate archives around the North Atlantic. This paper presents a tephrostratigraphy for Fosen peninsula, Central Norway. Both the Vedde Ash ca.12.1 ka BP and the Saksunarvatn Ash approximate to 10.3 ka BP are important isochrones for correlations of Late Quaternary palaeoenvironmental records in the North Atlantic region and have been assigned ages in GICC05. Beside these tephras we have also identified a new tephra, the Fosen Tephra, with a Borrobol-type geochemistry that occurs above both the Vedde Ash and the Saksunarvatn Ash with an age approximate to 10.2 ka BP. Several tephras with Borrobol-type geochemistry have been identified around the North Atlantic. One group is the Borrobol/Penifiler tephras dated to Greenland Interstadial-1 and another group is dated to the Early Holocene. We suggest that some of the Early Holocene Borrobol-type tephras and the Fosen Tephra may actually be the same layer. If so, the Fosen Tephra is spread over a large area of the North Atlantic and has the potential to become an important marker for short-term climate variability in Scandinavia and in the northern hemisphere.

  • 2013. Carl Lilja (et al.). Boreas 42 (3), 544-554

    Four cores from southwestern Sweden are presented together with their tephra geochemistry. Two cryptotephra horizons were confirmed geochemically in the cores, the Vedde Ash and the Hässeldalen Tephra. The Lateglacial Hässeldalen Tephra (11 360–11 300 cal. a BP) offers great potential as a regional isochrone to add a new degree of certainty to the deglaciation chronology of southern Sweden, including the extent of glacial Lake Bolmen. In addition, the geographical distribution of the Hässeldalen Tephra has recently been extended outside of Sweden, making it an important time-marker horizon in northern Europe. There are potential difficulties, however. Proper identification of the actual isochrone is complicated by the vertical pattern of shard distribution, which could be the result of several eruptive events, as well as by the fact that shards from the 10-ka Askja horizon (10 500–10 350 cal. a BP) were found in close stratigraphical proximity. The geochemical data presented are the result of improved EPMA methodology, which significantly reduces sodium mobilization. The results therefore have slightly altered values, which has consequences for classifying new finds when they are compared with previous data for geochemically similar tephras. Finally, potential indications of the Borrobol/Penifiler horizon are presented, although the existence of the horizon could not be confirmed geochemically. This highlights the need to retrieve cores from different locations within a basin based on an analysis of basin morphology if horizons are to be located.

  • 2013. Stefan Wastegård (et al.). Quaternary Science Reviews 71, 81-90

    A total of 18 tephra samples have been analysed from the composite sediment sequence from Site 2 of the Laguna Potrok Aike ICDP expedition 5022 from southern Patagonia, Argentina, which extends back to ca 51 ka cal BP. Analyses of the volcanic glass show that all layers but one are rhyolitic in composition, with SiO2 contents ranging between ca 74.5 and 78 wt% and suggest an origin in the Austral Andean Volcanic Zone (AVZ; 49-55 degrees S). Nonetheless, two main data clusters occur, one group with K2O contents between ca 1.5 and 2.0 wt%, indicating an origin in the Mt. Burney volcanic area, and one group with K2O contents between ca 2.7 and 3.9 wt%, tentatively correlated with Viedma/Lautaro and the Aguilera volcanoes in the northern part of the AVZ. The early Holocene Tephra, MB1 and the late Pleistocene Reclus R-1 tephra occur in the upper part of the sequence. Periods with significant tephra deposition occurred between ca 51-44 ka cal BP, and ca 31-25 ka cal BP, with a decrease in tephra layer frequency between these two periods.

  • 2012. Malin M Kylander (et al.). The Holocene 22 (3), 371-375

    X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanning is a relatively new arrangement of a classic analytical technique which allows for non-destructive, in situ XRF analysis of sediment cores from submillimetre resolution upwards. In this contribution we explore the use of XRF core scanning for tephrochronology based on the analysis of three gyttja-rich sediment cores from the Faroe Islands. Using a combination of optical and radiographic images, analytical parameters and elemental profiles (Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Sr and Zr), higher concentration basaltic tephra layers (>1000 shards/cm3) were positively identified. The XRF core scanning did not capture the lower concentration (<850 shards/cm3) rhyolitic layers found in the core. The elemental data generated for the detected tephra layers using XRF core scanning was not comparable to individual shard analysis by electron microprobe. We recommend using XRF core scanning for tephra screening in order to localize depths for high-resolution subsampling and to avoid depths where sediment mixing has caused tailing/mixing of the tephra signal. At the studied site the basaltic Saksunarvatn ash as well as a tephra belonging to the Askja-S/10 ka eruption were identified.

  • 2017. Christof Pearce (et al.). Climate of the Past 13 (4), 303-316

    The caldera-forming eruption of the Aniakchak volcano in the Aleutian Range on the Alaskan Peninsula at 3.6 cal kyr BP was one of the largest Holocene eruptions worldwide. The resulting ash is found as a visible sediment layer in several Alaskan sites and as a cryptotephra on Newfoundland and Greenland. This large geographic distribution, combined with the fact that the eruption is relatively well constrained in time using radiocarbon dating of lake sediments and annual layer counts in ice cores, makes it an excellent stratigraphic marker for dating and correlating mid-late Holocene sediment and paleoclimate records. This study presents the outcome of a targeted search for the Aniakchak tephra in a marine sediment core from the Arctic Ocean, namely Core SWERUS-L2-2-PC1 (2PC), raised from 57m water depth in Herald Canyon, western Chukchi Sea. High concentrations of tephra shards, with a geochemical signature matching that of Aniakchak ash, were observed across a more than 1.5m long sediment sequence. Since the primary input of volcanic ash is through atmospheric transport, and assuming that bioturbation can account for mixing up to ca. 10 cm of the marine sediment deposited at the coring site, the broad signal is interpreted as sustained reworking at the sediment source input. The isochron is therefore placed at the base of the sudden increase in tephra concentrations rather than at the maximum concentration. This interpretation of major reworking is strengthened by analysis of grain size distribution which points to ice rafting as an important secondary transport mechanism of volcanic ash. Combined with radiocarbon dates on mollusks in the same sediment core, the volcanic marker is used to calculate a marine radiocarbon reservoir age offset Delta R = 477 +/- 60 years. This relatively high value may be explained by the major influence of typically carbon-old Pacific waters, and it agrees well with recent estimates of Delta R along the northwest Alaskan coast, possibly indicating stable oceanographic conditions during the second half of the Holocene. Our use of a volcanic absolute age marker to obtain the marine reservoir age offset is the first of its kind in the Arctic Ocean and provides an important framework for improving chronologies and correlating marine sediment archives in this region. Core 2PC has a high sediment accumulation rate averaging 200 cm kyr(-1) throughout the last 4000 years, and the chronology presented here provides a solid base for high-resolution reconstructions of late Holocene climate and ocean variability in the Chukchi Sea.

  • 2016. U. Kokfelt (et al.). Journal of Quaternary Science 31 (7), 723-730

    We test the hypothesis that rich occurrences of diatoms observed at transitions between major peat units representing different vegetation communities in a peat sequence from subarctic northern Sweden reflect responses to acid deposition from the Samalas AD 1257 and Laki AD 1783/1784 eruptions. We observe sudden changes in the mire ecosystem and thereby in the trophic status and biogeochemical cycling of the peatland. Both the eruptions are known to have been associated with significant acid deposition events and climatic anomalies, as recorded in polar ice cores. To test the hypothesis, new chronological analyses and age modelling were applied to existing biogeochemical and biological records from the peat sequence. This approach yielded modelled age ranges of AD 1239-1284 (1s)/AD 1210-1303 (2s) (median: AD 1260) and AD 1674-1795 (1s)/AD 1665-1875 (2s) (median AD 1743), respectively, for the stratigraphic transitions. Hence, the modelled age ranges bracket the ages of the eruptions in question and the hypothesis could therefore not be rejected. Impacts of acid deposition from the eruptions are assumed to have caused instant acidification, vegetation damage, increased nutrient cycling and blooms of opportunistic epiphytic diatoms. In addition, cooling may have contributed to vegetation changes through permafrost inception, frost heave and thereby altered hydrological conditions.

  • 2017. Hans Johansson, Ewa M. Lind, Stefan Wastegård. Quaternary Geochronology 40, 120-128

    The Azores archipelago is one of the most active volcanic areas in the North Atlantic region, with approximately 30 eruptions during the last 600 years. The geochemical composition of associated tephra-derived glass is, however, not well characterized. This study presents major element compositions of glass shards from five major eruptives on the Azores: a trachybasaltic eruptive on the island of Faial (Capelinhos AD, 1957) and four explosive trachytic eruptives on the island of Sao Miguel (Fogo A c. 5600 cal yrs. BP, Sete Cidades c. AD 1440, Fogo AD 1563 and Furnas AD 1630). The major element compositions suggest that tephras from three active stratovolcanoes on Sao Miguel, Sete Cidades, Fogo and Furnas, can be distinguished from one another using bi-plots of FeOtot vs. TiO2 and FeOtot vs. CaO. Late Holocene tephras found on Ireland have previously been attributed to eruptions occurring on Jan Mayen but possess a strong geochemical similarity to proximal tephras from the Azores, especially those from the Furnas volcano. The similarity of the proximal tephras on Sao Miguel, especially Furnas AD 1563 and Furnas AD 1630 and distal tephras in Ireland is demonstrated by strong similarity coefficients (>0.95) and the closeness of major element composition. The dominant wind direction over the Azores is favourable for tephra dispersal to western Europe and we suggest that at least three tephras found in Ireland were erupted from the Furnas volcano, and that trachytic tephras erupted from explosive eruptions on Sao Miguel have a potential to contribute to the construction of a European-wide tephrostratigraphic framework.

Visa alla publikationer av Stefan Wastegård vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 10 september 2017

Bokmärk och dela Tipsa