Distinction between the Youngest Toba Tuff and Oldest Toba Tuff from northern Sumatra based on the area density of spontaneous fission tracks in their glass shards
Determination of the area density of spontaneous fission tracks (ρs) in glass shards of Toba tephra is a reliable way to distinguish between the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) and the Oldest Toba Tuff (OTT). The ρs values for YTT, uncorrected for partial track fading, range from 70 to 181 tracks/cm2 with a weighted mean of 108 ± 5 tracks/cm2, based on 15 samples. Corrected ρs values for YTT are in the range of 77-140 tracks/cm2 with a weighted mean of 113 ± 8 tracks/cm2, within the range of uncorrected ρs values. No significant difference in ρs exists between YTT samples collected from marine and continental depositional settings. The uncorrected ρs for OTT is 1567 tracks/cm2 so that confusion with YTT is unlikely.The ρs values of the Toba tephra at Bori, Morgaon, and Gandhigram in northwestern India indicate a YTT identity, in agreement with geochemical data on their glass shards, the presence of multiple glass populations, and a glass fission-track age determination. Therefore, the view of others that OTT is present at these sites - and thereby indicates a Lower Pleistocene age for the associated Acheulean artifacts - is incorrect.