Eruption of central El Salvador's Ilopango Volcano early in the first millennium A.D. caused death, cultural devastation, and exodus of southern Mesoamericans. It also left a time-stratigraphic marker in western El Salvador and adjacent Guatemala - the Ilopango Tierra Blanca Joven, or TBJ tephra. Mineral suites and major element abundances identify a silicic volcanic ash in cores from Lago de Yojoa, Honduras, as Ilopango TBJ. This extends its reported range more than 150 km to the northeast. Analyses of glass from the TBJ tephra from the Chalchuapa archaeological site, El Salvador, and from Lago de Yojoa, Honduras, establish the first major element reference fingerprint for the TBJ tephra. The Lago de Yojoa cores also hold two previously undated trachyandesitic tephra layers originating from the nearby Lake Yojoa Volcanic Field. One fell shortly before 11,000 14C yr B.P. and the other about 8600 14C yr B.P. ?? 2004 University of Washington. All rights reserved.
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Age and extent of the Ilopango TBJ Tephra inferred from a Holocene chronostratigraphic reference section, Lago De Yojoa, Honduras