Hogg, A. G., Wilson, C. J. N., Lowe, D. J., Turney, C. S. M., White, P., Lorrey, A. M., … Petchey, F. (2019). Wiggle-match radiocarbon dating of the Taupo eruption. Nature Communications, 10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12532-8
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The Taupo eruption deposit is an isochronous marker bed that spans much of New Zealand’s North Island and pre-dates human arrival. Holdaway et al. (2018, Nature Comms 9, 4110) propose that the current Taupo eruption date is inaccurate and that the eruption occurred “…decades to two centuries…” after the published wiggle-match estimate of 232 ± 10 CE (2 s.d.) derived from a tanekaha (Phyllocladus trichomanoides) tree at the Pureora buried forest site (Hogg et al. 2012, The Holocene 22, 439-449). Holdaway et al. (2018) propose that trees growing at Pureora (and other near-source areas) that were killed and buried by the climactic ignimbrite event were affected by ¹⁴C-depleted (magmatic) CO₂. Holdaway et al.'s (2018) proposal utilises a wide range of published ¹⁴C data, but their work results in assertions that are implausible. Four parts to their hypothesis are considered here.
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