Global database of volcanic ash layers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Earth Sciences


The ocean drilling programme has over the course of several decades sampled sea floor sediment around the World. When a major explosive volcanic eruption happens a layer of volcanic ash deposits on the sea floor and this layer may be preserved in the cores. Thus the cores contain a record of the Earth's volcanic activity often extending back many millions of years. Up to now there is no global compilation of the data on volcanic ash layers and this is the primary purpose of this project. This global database of volcanic ash layers will provide a critical resource for researchers interested in global and regional rates of volcanism and for establishing the age of time horizons in ocean drilling cores.

Planned Impact

The impact will be high as the project provides a major resource for the global ocean drilling community that can use the database for many different purposes. The database is also expected to be of interest to commercial organisations interested in stratigraphy of ocean sediments of volcanic hazards (e.g. insurance sector).


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Description The global database has been completed and includes over 33,000 ash has yet to be analysed.
Exploitation Route too early to say
Sectors Environment