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The Armenian petroglyphs depicting a volcanic eruption: Comment on the article of Nomade et al. « A 36,000-Year-Old Volcanic Eruption Depicted in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)?”

Posted by jfritz on 18 Feb 2016 at 18:11 GMT

The Armenian petroglyphs depicting a volcanic eruption: Comment on the article of Nomade et al. « A 36,000-Year-Old Volcanic Eruption Depicted in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)?”

By A. Avagyan (a) and J-F. Ritz (b)
(a) Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia
(b) Geosciences Montpellier, UMR 5243, CNRS, University of Montpellier, France

In their recent article « A 36,000-Year-Old Volcanic Eruption Depicted in the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave (Ardèche, France)?”, Nomade et al. published a figure (ie Fig.3) showing an example of a spray-shape sign from Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cave compared to the oldest known depictions of volcanic eruptions. Among those, the figure 3D shows a boulder carved with petroglyphs that have been interpreted as depicting volcanic eruptions associated to the Porak volcano in Armenia. These petroglyphs have been discovered in 1998; they were first described and interpreted in Avagyan (2001). Several articles were published later mentioning this discovery (Karakhanian et al. 2002, 2004; Trifonov and Karakhanyan 2004; Avagyan et al. 2005; and Harutunian, 2005). Note that the 5th millennium BC age given for the petroglyphs is an estimated age based on the carving technique and the archeological dating of obsidian tools found nearby the discovery site (Karakhanian et al. 2002). A research work, in progress, carried out in the framework of the LIA NHASA (Laboratoire International Associé France-Arménie “Natural Hazards and Adaptation Strategies in Armenia”) is aiming to date the petroglyphs using the same approach that Nomade et al’s (2016): ie dating the volcanic eruptions of the Porak volcano.


References:

Avagyan, A.V., 2001. Estimation of the Slip Rates and the Recurrence Intervals of Strong Earthquakes on the Fault System of Pambak-sevan-sunik (Armenia): Segmentation and Relation with Volcanic Activity (PhD thesis). Montpellier II University, France (in French).

Avagyan A., Sosson M., Philip H., Karakhanian A., Rolland Y., Melkonyan R., Rebai S., Davtyan V., 2005. Neogene to Quaternary stress field evolution in Lesser Caucasus and adjacent regions using fault kinematics analysis and volcanic cluster data. Geodinamica Acta, vol. 18/6, 401-416.

Harutunian S., 2005. The Armenian volcanoes are stil active, Gitutian Ashkharhum. 2, 45-53 [in Armenian].

Karakhanian, A.S., Djrbashian, R.T., Trifonov, V.G., Philip, H., Arakelian, S., Avagian, A.V., 2002. Holocene-historical volcanism and active faults as natural risk factor for Armenia and adjacent countries. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 113, 319-344.

Karakhanian A., Jrbashyan R., Trifonov V., Philip H., Arakelyan S., Avagyan A., Baghdassaryan A., Davtyan V., 2004. Active volcanoes and volcanic hazard in the Armenian Highland and adjacent areas. Izvestia NAS of RA, 2004, LVII, No. 1, 3-24.

Trifonov V. G. and Karakhanyan A. S., Geodynamics and History of Civilization (Nauka, Moscow, 2004 [in Russian].




No competing interests declared.