Evaluating periocidities in peat-based climate proxy records

Graeme T. Swindles, R. Timothy Patterson, Helen M. Roe, Jennifer M. Galloway

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Proxy records derived from ombrotrophic peatlands provide important insights into climate change over decadal to millennial timescales. We present mid- to late- Holocene humification data and testate amoebae-derived water table records from two peatlands in Northern Ireland. We examine the repli- cation of periodicities in these proxy climate records, which have been precisely linked through teph- rochronology. Age-depth models are constructed using a Bayesian piece-wise linear accumulation model and chronological errors are calculated for each profile. A Lomb-Scargle Fourier transform-based spectral analysis is used to test for statistically significant periodicities in the data. Periodicities of c. 130, 180, 260, 540 and 1160 years are present in at least one proxy record at each site. The replication of these peri- odicities provides persuasive evidence that they are a product of allogenic climate controls, rather than internal peatland dynamics. A technique to estimate the possible level of red-noise in the data is applied and demonstrates that the observed periodicities cannot be explained by a first-order autoregressive model. We review the periodicities in the light of those reported previously from other marine and terrestrial climate proxy archives to consider climate forcing parameters. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-103
    Number of pages10
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Early online date14 Apr 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2012


    • Holocene
    • Climate change
    • Peatlands
    • Periodicities
    • Lomb-Scargle Fourier spectral analysis
    • Solar forcing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


    Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating periocidities in peat-based climate proxy records'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this