Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Utilising a multi-proxy to model comparison to constrain the season and regionally heterogeneous impacts of the Mt Samalas 1257 eruption

Wainman, Laura; Marshall, Lauren R.; Schmidt, Anja

Utilising a multi-proxy to model comparison to constrain the season and regionally heterogeneous impacts of the Mt Samalas 1257 eruption Thumbnail


Authors

Laura Wainman

Anja Schmidt



Abstract

The Mt Samalas eruption, thought to have occurred in summer 1257, ranks as one of the most explosive sulfur-rich eruptions of the Common Era. Despite recent convergence, several dates have been proposed for the eruption ranging between 1256–1258, with, as of yet, no single combination of evidence that has been able to robustly distinguish between and exclude the other dates proposed for the Mt Samalas eruption. Widespread surface cooling and hydroclimate perturbations following the eruption have been invoked as contributing to a host of 13th century social and economic crises, although regional-scale variability in the post-eruption climate response remains uncertain. In this study we run ensemble simulations using the UK Earth System Model (UKESM1) with a range of eruption scenarios and initial conditions in order to compare our simulations with the most complete globally resolved multi-proxy database for the Mt Samalas eruption to date, incorporating tree rings, ice cores, and historical records. This allows more precise constraints to be placed on the year and season of the Mt Samalas eruption, as well as an investigation into the regionally heterogeneous post-eruption climate response. Using a multi-proxy to model comparison, we are able to robustly distinguish between July 1257 and January 1258 eruption scenarios, where the July 1257 ensemble simulation achieves considerably better agreement with spatially averaged and regionally resolved proxy surface temperature reconstructions. These reconstructions suggest the onset of significant cooling across Asia and Europe in 1258 and thus support the plausibility of previously inferred historical connections. Model-simulated temperature anomalies also point to severe surface cooling across the Southern Hemisphere with as of yet unexplored historical implications for impacted civilisations. Model simulations of polar sulfate deposition also reveal distinct differences in the timing of ice sheet deposition between the two simulated eruption dates, although comparison of the magnitude or asymmetric deposition of sulfate aerosol remains limited by large inter-model differences and complex intra-model dependencies. Overall, the multi-proxy to model comparison employed in this study has strong potential in constraining similar uncertainties in eruption source parameters for other historical eruptions for which sufficient coincident proxy records are available, although care is needed to avoid the pitfalls of model–multi-proxy comparison.

Citation

Wainman, L., Marshall, L. R., & Schmidt, A. (2024). Utilising a multi-proxy to model comparison to constrain the season and regionally heterogeneous impacts of the Mt Samalas 1257 eruption. Climate of the Past, 20(4), 951-968. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-20-951-2024

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 29, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 16, 2024
Publication Date Apr 16, 2024
Deposit Date May 14, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 14, 2024
Journal Climate of the Past
Print ISSN 1814-9324
Publisher European Geosciences Union
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 951-968
DOI https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-20-951-2024
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2439733

Files




You might also like



Downloadable Citations