Advances in Earth Science ›› 2012, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 35-41. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2012.01.0035

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The Relation between the 72 ka BP Event and the Toba Super-eruption

Wu Shuainan, Chen Shitao, Duan Fucai   

  1. College of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing210046, China
  • Received:2011-05-06 Revised:2011-11-22 Online:2012-01-10 Published:2012-01-10

Wu Shuainan, Chen Shitao, Duan Fucai. The Relation between the 72 ka BP Event and the Toba Super-eruption[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2012, 27(1): 35-41.

The abrupt cooling event occurred about 72 (the 72 ka Event) is the largest climate change during the last glacial period. At the same time a supereruption of Toba volcano, the largest explosive eruption over the past two million years, erupted in northern Sumatra, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index of magnitude 8. It always deserves special attention for the relation between the 72 ka Event and the Toba Super-eruption. Therefore, an in-depth study of the 72 ka Event should be useful for further evaluating the environment effect of the eruption and refining the mechanism of the abrupt events during the last glacial period. Here, we make a systematic rewiew about the research achievements from different fields such as marine cores, ice cores, stalagmites, loess, lakes and so on. These records showed different expressions on the cold event occurred about 72 ka BP and/or the Toba eruption and their relations. Based on the timing of this cold event and the Toba eruption, and the operating mechanism of the volcanic eruption on climate, the eruption has  substantial impact on climate. This impact is well documented by Greenland ice core records, and further supported by climate models. Nevertheless, marine core records in low latitudes did not exhibit an obvious  climate change around the super eruption, and, at least, the amplitude of the variation is not strong as one in the high latitude. Also, paleontological evidences show that the Toba eruption did not make a catastrophic effect on the living environment. So,  the relation between the 72 ka Event and the Toba Super-eruption is still being hotly debated. The further progress depends not only on developing resolution and chronological precision of climate records, but also on detecting the evidence of volcanic eruptions as well.

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