Bayesian improvements to 210Pb age-depth models

  • Marco Antonio Aquino-López

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This work explores and improves the use of 210Pb (lead-210) for constructing age-depth models of sedimentary deposits. It first discusses the current dating models for both 210Pb and radiocarbon, followed by a review of the literature to observe calculation and reporting practices as well as examples of 210Pb dating from the literature. After we observe how practitioners treat 210Pb data, simulations are created to analyse the accuracy of current 210Pb dating models. These simulations show a low accuracy by the current 210Pb dating model, and this motivated the construction of a new approach for age-depth models.

The new and improved 210Pb age-depth model was tested using both data from real sediment cores and simulated ones. These experiments show that this approach has a better accuracy than the current 210Pb dating models. Also, it is based on a Bayesian approach, which allowed for an easy integration of additional dating sources. Radiocarbon was used to obtain an integrated chronology. Simulations show that this new approach provides an easier integration of radiocarbon and 210Pb data on top of providing more accurate chronologies with better estimates of chronological precision.

Date of AwardDec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorMaarten Blaauw (Supervisor) & J. Andrés Christen (Supervisor)

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