Global Increase in Quaternary Explosive Volcanism

Science  14 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4176, pp. 497-502
DOI: 10.1126/science.187.4176.497


The worldwide distribution of volcanic ash has been determinmined from 320 deep-sea sections drilled during the Deep Sea Drilling Project. The ash distribution in the deep-sea sections, which span the last 20 million years, indicates that there has been a much higher rate of explosive volcanism from both island arc and hot spot volcanoes during the last 2 million years. This episode, and perhaps another in the Middle Miocene cprrelates with previously reported widespread synchronism in increased volcanicity in certain oceanic islands. Increased Quaternary volcanism coincides approximately with that episode of the Cenozoic marked by major and rapidly fluctuating climatic change.