Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
STRATIGRAPHY OF THE TOBA SUPER-VOLCANIC EVENT IN THE SON VALLEY, INDIA, AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR UPPER PALAEOLITHIC HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
The Toba super eruption (the “Younger Toba Tuff “ dated 74 ± 2 ka BP) is the largest known eruption of the Quaternary (Rose et al., 1987). Previous research has suggested that it was responsible for severe and prolonged global cooling (Rampino et al., 1992). Nevertheless, there are still many uncertainties concerning the impact of this event on both environment and humans from local to global scales. Recent studies have highlighted the lack of knowledge about the physical parameters of the eruption (Oppenheimer, 2005) and the impact of Toba on humans are hotly debated (Ambrose, 1996; Schultz, 2002; Jones, 2005; Petraglia et al., 2007). YTT tephra have been identified in Upper Palaeolithic archaeological contests of Kurnool Valley (Andhra Pradesh), and Son Valley (Mandhra Pradesh). The unique association of geological and archaeological records provides tremendous opportunities to assess the environmental and human impact of the eruption in India with implications for longer range impacts. I present here the preliminary results of fieldwork undertaken between February and April 2009, focusing on the tephrostratigraphy of the Son Valley, which will provide a framework for interpretation of the environment in which hominims were settled prior to the eruption.