Magnetic dating of the Holocene monogenetic Tkarsheti volcano in the Kazbeki region (Great Caucasus)

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Abstract

The radiocarbon technique is widely used to date Late Pleistocene and Holocene lava flows. The significant difference with palaeomagnetic methods is that the 14C dating is performed on the organic matter carbonized by the rock formation or the paleosols found within or below the lava flow. On the contrary, the archaeomagnetic dating allows to date the moment when the lava is cooling down below the Curie temperatures. In the present study, we use the paleomagnetic dating to constrain the age of the Tkarsheti monogenetic volcano located within the Kazbeki Volcanic Province (Great Caucasus). A series of rock-magnetic experiments including the measurement of hysteresis curves, isothermal remanence, back-field and continuous thermomagnetic curves were applied. These experiments indicated that Pseudo-Single-Domain Ti-poor titanomagnetite is responsible for remanence. A characteristic remanent magnetization was obtained for all twenty analyzed samples yielding a stable single magnetization component observed upon both thermal and alternating field treatments. Comparison of the mean directions obtained (Inc = 48.6º, Dec = 6.4º, A95 = 4.0° and K = 67) with the SCHA.DIF.14k model yielded two main time intervals (4740–4650 or 4427–4188 BC) as the best age estimate of the Lesser Tkarsheti lava flow. These results suggest an earlier age (between approximately 200 and 700 years) for this monogenetic lava flow than expected from the estimated age provided by a former 14C dating obtained in 1973 on woody remains. This first attempt to use the archaeomagnetic technique in the Caucasus indicates that the SCHA.DIF.14k geomagnetic model may be successfully used for dating purposes in the region [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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Vashakidze, G., Goguitchaichvili, A., García-Redondo, N., Calvo-Rathert, M., Carrancho, Á., Cejudo, R., … Gabarashvili, K. (2019). Magnetic dating of the Holocene monogenetic Tkarsheti volcano in the Kazbeki region (Great Caucasus). Earth, Planets and Space, 71(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-019-1109-4

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