Bayesian Analysis of 210Pb Dating

Marco Aquino Lopez, Maarten Blaauw, J. A. Christen, Nicole K. Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
300 Downloads (Pure)


In studies of environmental change of the past few centuries, 210Pb dating is often used to obtain chronologies for sedimentary sequences. One of the most commonly used approaches to estimate the age of material at different depths in a sequence is to assume a constant rate of supply (CRS) or influx of unsupported’ 210Pb from the atmosphere, together with a constant or varying amount of ‘supported’ 210Pb. Current 210Pb dating models do not use a proper statistical framework and provide poor estimates of the uncertainties. Here, we develop a new model for 210Pb dating, where ages and values of supported and unsupported 210Pb form part of the parameters. We apply our model to a case study from Canada as well as to some simulated examples. Our model can extend beyond the current CRS approach, deal with asymmetric errors and mix 210Pb with other types of dating, thus obtaining more robust, realistic and statistically better defined age estimates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalJournal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics
Early online date05 Jun 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 05 Jun 2018

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