Explosive volcanic eruptions, and the fate of volcanic ash in sedimentary environments
Dr. Charles Ver Straeten (NYS Museum)
In deeply eroded ancient mountain belts, volcanic rocks are generally stripped away, and the record of their activity lost. However, in adjacent sedimentary basins, numerous thin ashfall layers may be preserved. At least 100 such layers are known from Devonian rocks of the eastern U.S. Do these ancient, altered ash layers outline a history of volcanism during the Acadian Orogeny? Realistically, what is the chance of preserving a thin layer of ash from a single eruption in oceans, shallow seas and lakes? Explore the complexities of the volcanic record in sedimentary rocks.
Chuck Ver Straeten is a sedimentary geologist and Curator of Sedimentary Rocks at the New York State Museum/Geological Survey. He is an elected member of the International Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy. His research includes Early to Middle Devonian marine strata of New York and the Appalachian Basin, foreland basin perspectives on the Acadian orogeny, and Devonian terrestrial rocks of the Catskill Mountains; and ancient airfall volcanic tephra beds, their post-depositional preservation, and Devonian volcanic history.