A humification-based method toward refining Holocene radiocarbon chronologies: Wetland records from southeastern China

Li, Nannan, Yu, Fengling, Chambers, Frank M ORCID: 0000-0002-0998-2093, Huang, Zhaoquan, Lin, Wenmin, Zhu, Zilong, Yang, Huanjie and Lin, Jiaqi (2023) A humification-based method toward refining Holocene radiocarbon chronologies: Wetland records from southeastern China. Holocene, 33 (5). pp. 605-615. doi:10.1177/09596836231151821

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Holocene paleoclimate reconstructions and comparisons largely rely on accurate age-depth modeling. However, uncertainties in chronology, such as those caused by sparse radiocarbon dates, will hamper inter-core comparisons and correlations, and might result in misleading “cause and consequence” conclusions. This study aimed to find a solution to increase the comparability and minimize the uncertainty of wetland chronology as much as possible. Sediment cores were recovered and radiocarbon dated from the Lianhuachi wetland located in Southeastern China. Humification degree and loss-on-ignition (LOI) were determined using colorimetric and combustion methods respectively. Our data were compared with previously published datasets obtained in the same wetland. The results show that independent humification profiles from the Lianhuachi wetland displayed high similarities. This high similarity between the humification profiles allowed us to transfer radiocarbon ages from one core to another using sequence slotting correlation. Applying the humification-based chronology refinement method to all sediment cores resulted in an improvement in the correlation coefficients between the same but independently measured proxy sequences from the wetland, which suggests both the inter- and intra-core comparability was improved. Because determining peat humification degree is easy, inexpensive, and time-saving, we suggest that humification can serve as a tool that can be used to correlate different cores and to transfer published radiocarbon ages within the same wetland (peatland) or in a comparable geological setting, to establish a more robust chronology of these comparable cores. The degree of peat humification can thus serve as a relative dating technique to refine the chronology of wetland (including peatland) records.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Age-depth modeling; Holocene; Humification; Radiocarbon; Relative dating; Wetlands
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2023 17:20
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:57
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/12394

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