Scientific article
Open access

Climatic and societal impacts of a "forgotten" cluster of volcanic eruptions in 1108-1110 CE

Published inScientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 6715
Publication date2020

Recently revised ice core chronologies for Greenland have newly identified one of the largest sulfate deposition signals of the last millennium as occurring between 1108 and 1113 CE. Long considered the product of the 1104 CE Hekla (Iceland) eruption, this event can now be associated with substantial deposition seen in Antarctica under a similarly revised chronology. This newly recognized bipolar deposition episode has consequently been deemed to reveal a previously unknown major tropical eruption in 1108 CE. Here we show that a unique medieval observation of a “dark” total lunar eclipse attests to a dust veil over Europe in May 1110 CE, corroborating the revised ice-core chronologies. Furthermore, careful evaluation of ice core records points to the occurrence of several closely spaced volcanic eruptions between 1108 and 1110 CE. The sources of these eruptions remain unknown, but we propose that Mt. Asama, whose largest Holocene eruption occurred in August 1108 CE and is credibly documented by a contemporary Japanese observer, is a plausible contributor to the elevated sulfate in Greenland. Dendroclimatology and historical documentation both attest, moreover, to severe climatic anomalies following the proposed eruptions, likely providing the environmental preconditions for subsistence crises experienced in Western Europe between 1109 and 1111 CE.

Citation (ISO format)
GUILLET, Sébastien et al. Climatic and societal impacts of a ‘forgotten’ cluster of volcanic eruptions in 1108-1110 CE. In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, n° 6715. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63339-3
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2045-2322

Technical informations

Creation06/04/2020 12:50:00 PM
First validation06/04/2020 12:50:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 10:02:55 PM
Status update03/15/2023 10:02:54 PM
Last indexation01/17/2024 9:59:45 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack