Reply to the comment on "Environmental impact of the 73ka Toba super-eruption in South Asia" by M. A. J. Williams, S. H. Ambrose, S. van der Kaars, C. Ruehlemann, U. Chattopadhyaya, J. Pal, P. R. Chauhan [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 284 (2009) 295-314]

Martin Williams, Stanley H. Ambrose, Sander van der Kaars, Carsten Ruehlemann, Umesh Chattopadhyaya, Jagannath Pal, Parth Chauhan

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Haslam and Petraglia raise three broad questions concerning our paper 'Environmental impact of the 73 ka Toba super-eruption in South Asia', by Martin A. J. Williams, Stanley H. Ambrose, Sander van der Kaars, Carsten Ruehlemann, Umesh Chattopadhyaya, Jagannath Pal, Parth R. Chauhan [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 284 (2009) 295-314]. (a) What was the relationship between the ∼ 73 ka Toba eruption and the cold stade between the Dansgaard-Oeschger interstades 20 and 19? (b) What was the regional impact of the eruption on vegetation? (c) What was the possible effect of the eruption upon humans and mammals? In response to questions (a) and (b) we note that the ∼ 73 ka Toba eruption was followed by several centuries of intense cooling and wind-blown dust accession in the Greenland GISP2 ice core, by a change from forest to grassland or open woodland in central India (carbon isotopic analysis) and in the wider region (pollen analysis of a marine sediment core in the Bay of Bengal). In regard to (c), the genetic evidence is as yet too imprecisely dated to demonstrate causality as is the archaeological evidence cited by Haslam and Petraglia in favour of minimal impact. Future work supported by higher resolution chronologies than are presently available is needed to provide a less equivocal picture of the environmental impact of the ∼ 73 ka Toba eruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-211
Number of pages8
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume296
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

Keywords

  • Carbon isotopes
  • Greenland ice cores
  • India
  • Marine cores
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Pollen analysis
  • Soil carbonate
  • Tephra
  • Toba volcano

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reply to the comment on "Environmental impact of the 73ka Toba super-eruption in South Asia" by M. A. J. Williams, S. H. Ambrose, S. van der Kaars, C. Ruehlemann, U. Chattopadhyaya, J. Pal, P. R. Chauhan [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 284 (2009) 295-314]'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this