A 4500-year proxy climate record from peatlands in the North of Ireland: the identification of widespread summer ‘drought phases’?

G.T. Swindles, A. Blundell, H.M. Roe, V.A. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mid-to-late Holocene high-resolution testate amoebae-derived water table reconstructions from two peatlands in the North of Ireland are presented. The proxy climate records are dated and correlated using a combination of AMS 14C dating, spheroidal carbonaceous particles and tephrochronology. The reconstructions start prior to the Hekla 4 tephra isochron (2395–2279 BC) and thus span the last ~4500 years. The records are compiled by the process of tuning within chronological errors, standardisation and stacking. Comparisons are made to existing palaeoclimate records from peatlands in Northern Britain and Ireland and the compiled lake-level record for mid-latitude Europe. Four coherent dry phases are identified in the records at ca 1150–800 BC, 320 BC–AD 150, AD 250–470 and AD 1850–2000. Recent research has shown that peat-derived water table reconstructions reflect summer water deficit and therefore the dry phases are interpreted as periods with a higher frequency and/or greater magnitudes of summer drought. These ‘drought phases’ occur during periods of relatively low 14C production, which may add support to the hypothesis of persistent solar forcing of climate change during the Holocene. Any relationship with the North Atlantic stacked drift ice record is less clear. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1577-1589
Number of pages13
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume29
Issue number13-14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Geology
  • Global and Planetary Change

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