The Kawakawa/Oruanui tephra (KOT) is a key chronostratigraphic marker in terrestrial and marine deposits of the New Zealand (NZ) sector of the southwest Pacific. Erupted early during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the wide distribution of the KOT enables inter-regional alignment of proxy records and facilitates comparison between NZ climatic variations and those from well-dated records elsewhere. We present 22 new radiocarbon ages for the KOT from sites and materials considered optimal for dating, and apply Bayesian statistical methods via OxCal4.1.7 that incorporate stratigraphic information to develop a new age probability model for KOT. The revised calibrated age, ±2 standard deviations, for the eruption of the KOT is 25,360 ± 160 cal yr BP. The age revision provides a basis for refining marine reservoir ages for the LGM in the southwest Pacific.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.