Age, geochemistry and distribution of the mid-Holocene Hekla-S/Kebister tephra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The middle Holocene Hekla-S/Kebister tephra originates in the Hekla volcanic system on SW Iceland. The distal distribution of the tephra includes the Faroe Islands, Shetland and Central Sweden, indicating a main dispersal towards the east. The chemical composition of the tephra follows the pattern of other major eruptions of Hekla, and ratios between selected oxides may in some cases allow separation from other major Holocene tephras from Hekla. Tephra from the Plinian phase dominates in eastern sites, while tephra also from later phases is found in the Faroe sites. Wiggle-matching of radiocarbon dates around the tephra in a Swedish peat-bog suggests an age around 3720 cal. yr BP (3750-3700 cal. yr BP), which is in accordance with previous attempts to date this tephra. This is within a period with significant climate changes in NW Europe and opens possibilities for exact comparisons of peat and lake sediment records from different geographical areas.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • North Atlantic region, peat, wiggle-matching, Holocene, radiocarbon, geochemistry, Hekla, Kebister tephra
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-549
JournalThe Holocene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch