Tephrostratigraphy and tephrochronology of lakes Ohrid and Prespa, Balkans
Abstract. Four cores from Balkans lakes Ohrid and Prespa were examined for recognition of tephra layers and cryptotephras, and the results presented along with the review of data from other two already published cores from Lake Ohrid. The six cores provide a previously unrealised tephrostratigraphic framework of the two lakes, and provide a new tephrostratigraphic profile (composite) for the Balkans, which spans from the end of the Middle Pleistocene to the AD 472. A total of 12 tephra layers and cryptotephras were recognised in the cores. One is of Middle Pleistocene age (131 ka) and correlated to the marine tephra layer P-11 from Pantelleria Island. Eight volcanic layers are Upper Pleistocene in age, and encompass the period between ca. 107 ka and ca. 31 ka. This interval contains some of the main regional volcanic markers of the central Mediterranean area, including X-6, X-5, Y-5 and Y-3 tephra layers. The other layers of this interval have been related to the marine tephra layers C20, Y-6 and C10, while one was for the first time recognised in distal areas and correlated to the Taurano eruption of probable Vesuvian origin. Three cryptotephras were of Holocene age. Two of which have been correlated to Mercato and AD 472 eruptions of Somma-Vesuvius, while the third has been correlated to the FL eruption from Mount Etna. These recognitions provide a link of the Ohrid and Prespa lacustrine successions to other archives of the central Mediterranean area, like south Adriatic, Ionian, and south Tyrrhenian seas, lakes of southern Italy (Lago Grande di Monticchio, Pantano di San Gregorio Magno and Lago di Pergusa) and Balkans (Lake Shkodra).