||This workshop will discuss major developments, best practices, and future directions/needs in tephra studies from both volcanological and tephrochronological perspectives. By bringing together a broad array of scientists who study tephra for different purposes, we intend to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and data sharing. To provide training, the workshop will also incorporate hand-on sessions on optimal sample collection, dispersal modeling, age modeling, and database submission.
Volcanologists, tephrochronologists, archaeologists, paleoclimatologists, paleoecologists, paleolimnologists, glaciologists, petrologists, geochronologists, tectonophysicists, Quaternary scientists, atmospheric scientists, data managers, and others who work with tephra, who could benefit from tephra data, or who work in settings which may contain tephra. Interested persons are also invited to join our Tephra 2014 VHub group.
Tephra deposits form a common thread that connects diverse, multidisciplinary research directions that share overlapping data needs. Tephra beds reflect the magmatic, eruptive, dispersal, and depositional processes involved in their eruption, as well as the tectonic environment from which they originate. They are globally important for examining links between tectonics, magma chemistry, volcano behavior, and environmental effects. They are fundamental for understanding past eruptions and future hazards, and they are key for dating both geologic and prehistoric events. It is, perhaps, in tephrochronology that tephra beds find their most diverse applications: providing isochrons of nearly unmatched temporal precision across regional to continental and even inter-continental distances; tying together glacial, marine, lacustrine, and terrestrial records; and helping to answer major questions in climate change, archaeology, paleontology, paleoecology, paleolimnology, paleoseismology, paleomagnetism, and geomorphology, among others.
Because of their fundamental importance across the sciences, tephra layers are looked upon in very different ways by the different communities that come into contact with them. They thus represent a major, missed opportunity for synergism across science disciplines. To give an example, volcanologists are interested in characterizing grain size and primary depositional thickness to understand eruption intensity and dispersal characteristics. Yet these two pieces of data are rarely collected by tephrochronologists or archeologists working with the same tephra layers. This is a missed opportunity to collect data in common that could help us more thoroughly understand how tephra is transported. Similarly, complete eruption catalogs are important for volcanic hazards assessment, but near-vent records are often incomplete. Paleoenvironmental scientists studying more favorable depositional settings such as lakes often obtain cores which contain tephra. Working together can result in both improved understanding of volcano behavior and better chronologies.