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Keywords:

  • Campanian Ignimbrite;
  • eruption impact;
  • super-eruptions;
  • tephra fallout

[1] We apply a novel computational approach to assess, for the first time, volcanic ash dispersal during the Campanian Ignimbrite (Italy) super-eruption providing insights into eruption dynamics and the impact of this gigantic event. The method uses a 3D time-dependent computational ash dispersion model, a set of wind fields, and more than 100 thickness measurements of the CI tephra deposit. Results reveal that the CI eruption dispersed 250–300 km3 of ash over ∼3.7 million km2. The injection of such a large quantity of ash (and volatiles) into the atmosphere would have caused a volcanic winter during the Heinrich Event 4, the coldest and driest climatic episode of the Last Glacial period. Fluorine-bearing leachate from the volcanic ash and acid rain would have further affected food sources and severely impacted Late Middle-Early Upper Paleolithic groups in Southern and Eastern Europe.