Microbeam methods for the analysis of glass in fine-grained tephra deposits: A SMART perspective on current and future trends

Nicholas J. G. Pearce*, Peter M. Abbott, Catherine Martin-Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)

39 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Correlation of tephra deposits frequently relies on the analysis of glass shards separated from their host. Small shards from distal deposits (marine-, ice-or lake-cores, peat bogs) are difficult to analyse. Here current methods for glass shard analysis from (particularly) marine tephra deposits are reviewed. These methods apply equally to other distal deposits, where linking repositories of climatic information is central to many research programmes. Electron probe microanalysis is used widely to determine the major element compositions of volcanic glass. However, electron beam irradiation causes permanent damage to glass, especially hydrated or silica- and alkali-rich compositions. Recent developments have shown that reliable data is obtained with beam diameters >3 mu m on basaltic or moderately hydrated rhyolitic glass, provided low electron beam current densities are used. For robust correlation of tephra deposits from different environments, it is recommended that analytical data are normalized to an anhydrous basis. Glass trace element analysis is commonly performed by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, which determines approx. 30 elements at, 1 ppm from ablation craters 10 mu m diameter, and although element fractionation occurs, it can be corrected. Recent developments in both methods should facilitate analysis of smaller, more distal material, expanding the geographical range over which reliable tephra correlations can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarine Tephrochronology
EditorsW. E. N. Austin, P. M. Abbott, S. M. Davies, N. J. G. Pearce, S. Wastegard
PublisherGeological Society of London
Pages29-46
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781862396418
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2014
EventGeological Society of London Meeting on Marine Tephrochronology - London
Duration: 26 Oct 2011 → …

Publication series

NameGeological Society Special Publication
PublisherGEOLOGICAL SOC PUBLISHING HOUSE
Volume398
ISSN (Print)0305-8719

Conference

ConferenceGeological Society of London Meeting on Marine Tephrochronology
CityLondon
Period26 Oct 2011 → …

Keywords

  • PLASMA-MASS-SPECTROMETRY
  • ABLATION-ICP-MS
  • ELECTRON-MICROPROBE ANALYSIS
  • VOLCANIC ASH LAYERS
  • ALKALI ALUMINOSILICATE GLASSES
  • TRACE-ELEMENT ANALYSIS
  • ISOTOPE STAGES 4
  • LASER-ABLATION
  • NEW-ZEALAND
  • VEDDE ASH

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Microbeam methods for the analysis of glass in fine-grained tephra deposits: A SMART perspective on current and future trends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this