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Deception Island (South Shetland Islands) is one of the most active volcanoes in Antarctica where a future eruption is very likely to happen. The characterisation of volcanic ash layers may provide valuable information to: (i) determine the size and explosiveness of past eruptive events, (ii) assess the extent of their related hazards; and (iii) complete the eruption record of the island. Here, we present results of the characterization of the ash layers found on five marine sediment cores drilled proximal to Deception Island (less than 40 km). The final aim is to trace isochronous tephra horizons between the studied cores and try associating them to their respective eruptive events. First, we carried out a granulometry analysis of each sampled layer and characterized the morphology of the fragments. The results indicate that the reworking effect by turbiditic currents has not affected the information necessary for correlation. The petrography has highlighted three main different types of volcanic glasses. Type 1 glasses, dark coloured, have low contents in microcrystals and vesicles. Type 2, brown coloured, have a higher content in microcrystals and the fragments usually have a fluidal texture; the vesicle abundance is variable. Type 3, yellow coloured, are usually rich in microcrystals and vesicles, and have fluidal texture. In all families, the mineralogy of the microcrystals is mainly plagioclase (90%), pyroxene and olivine. The longest core (120 cm long) contains 15 layers, the deepest ones (113, 115 and 120 cm depth) may be associated with a period of abundant volcanic activity around 2000 years BP. This research is part of POLARCSIC and PTIVolcan research initiatives; and was partially funded by the MINECO grants VOLCLIMA (CGL2015-72629-EXP) and POSVOLDEC(CTM2016-79617-P)(AEI/FEDER-UE). Analyzed tephra samples and sediment cores were provided by the rock repository of the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar del CSIC (ICM-CSIC) (
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