Carbon-14 wiggle-match dating of peat deposits: advantages and limitations

Maarten Blaauw, Bas Van Geel, Dimitri Mauquoy, Johannes Van Der Plicht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon-14 wiggle-match dating (WMD) of peat deposits uses the non-linear relationship between 14C age and calendar age to match the shape of a series of closely spaced peat 14C dates with the 14C calibration curve. The method of WMD is discussed, and its advantages and limitations are compared with calibration of individual dates. A numerical approach to WMD is introduced that makes it possible to assess the precision of WMD chronologies. During several intervals of the Holocene, the 14C calibration curve shows less pronounced fluctuations. We assess whether wiggle-matching is also a feasible strategy for these parts of the 14C calibration curve. High-precision chronologies, such as obtainable with WMD, are needed for studies of rapid climate changes and their possible causes during the Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
EventAnnual Discussion Meeting of the Quaternary-Research-Association - Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Jan 200401 Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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