Examining the uncertainties in a 'tuned and stacked' peatland water table reconstruction

G.T. Swindles, M. Blaauw, A. Blundell, T.E. Turner

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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Tuning and stacking approaches have been used to compile non-annually resolved peatland palaeo-water table records in several studies. This approach has been proposed as a potential way forward to overcome the chronological problems that beset the correlation of records and may help in the upscaling of palaeoclimate records for climate model-data comparisons. This paper investigates the uncertainties in this approach using a published water table compilation from Northern Ireland. Firstly, three plausible combinations of chronological match points are used to assess the variability of the reconstructions. It is apparent that even with markedly different match point combinations, the compilations are highly similar, especially when a 100-year running mean line is used for interpretation. Secondly, sample-specific reconstruction errors are scaled in relation to the standardised water table units and illustrated on the compiled reconstruction. Thirdly, the total chronological errors for each reconstruction are calculated using Bayesian age-modelling software. Although tuning and stacking approaches may be suitable for compiling peat-based palaeoclimate records, it is important that the reconstruction and chronological errors are acknowledged and clearly illustrated in future studies. The tuning of peat-based proxy climate records is based on a potentially flawed assumption that events are synchronous between sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary International
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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