Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Croscat Volcano may have been the last volcanic eruption in Spain 13,000 years ago

24.07.2012
The volcanic region of La Garrotxa, with some forty volcanic cones and some twenty lava flows, is considered to be the best conserved region in the Iberian Peninsula.

It is also the youngest volcanic area. Although the approximate age of some of these volcanic constructions is known, one of the main problems when studying volcanoes is to pinpoint the chronology of each of their eruptions.

Several geochronological studies have been conducted, but existing data is scarce and imprecise. With regard to the chronology of the Croscat Volcano, considered one of the most recent volcanic constructions, the latest dating was obtained with the technique of thermoluminescence conducted in the 1980s.

A group of scientists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the University of Girona and the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES), together with researchers from the Garrotxa Volcanoes Natural Park and the environmental sector firms Axial Geologia i Medi Ambient and Tosca, developed a programme to locate chronologically the final moment of volcanic eruptions in the region.

Researchers recently published the first results in an article in the journal Geologica Acta. The first volcano they worked on was the Croscat Volcano. Soil dating was carried out using the C-14 dating method - very precise and easy to conduct in many laboratories - with the organic material found on the surface of the earth right before the moment of eruption.

"The general idea is based on the hypothesis that if scientists could date the palaeosoil found right below the lava clay ejected by the volcano, they would have the dating of the moment before the eruption" explains Maria Saña, researcher at the UAB Department of Prehistory.

Scientists perforated the clay found in the region of Pla del Torn, a few metres to the northeast of the volcanic cone. Two tests were carried out, at 12 and 15 metres deep, which reached the base of the clay layer and the surface of the palaeosoil.

Pollinic analysis was conducted with the samples obtained from the surface of this pre-volcano level. This aided scientists in learning about the vegetation of the area in the moment before the Croscat Volcano erupted. Several 14C analyses were later made to determine the organic material contained in the samples.

The palynological analysis of the soil at the time of eruption, conducted by IPHES, revealed that the landscape of La Garrotxa was quite open, with Mediterranean meadows and steppes cotaining gramineae, asteraceae and artemisia. Oaks and holm oaks were also discovered, which indicates that temperatures were mild, a symptom of the beginning of the thawing period following the last Ice Age. The presence of riverside trees (elms, alders and willows), as well as aquatic herbs and plants (cyperaceae, bulrush, alisma, etc.) are proof that during that period there was also an increase in rainfalls.

Dating has shown that the age of the upper part of the soil dates back approximately between 13,270 and 13,040 years and that immediately after that moment the eruption of the Croscat Volcano took place.

Octavi López Coronado | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uab.cat

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Hundreds of bubble streams link biology, seismology off Washington's coast
22.03.2019 | University of Washington

nachricht Atmospheric scientists reveal the effect of sea-ice loss on Arctic warming
11.03.2019 | Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>