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Frequency Distribution of Radiocarbon Dates as a Tool for Reconstructing Environmental Changes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Danuta J Michczyńska
Affiliation:
Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Physics, Radiocarbon Laboratory, GADAM Centre of Excellence, Krzywoustego 2, 44–100 Gliwice, Poland
Adam Michczyński
Affiliation:
Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Physics, Radiocarbon Laboratory, GADAM Centre of Excellence, Krzywoustego 2, 44–100 Gliwice, Poland
Anna Pazdur
Affiliation:
Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Physics, Radiocarbon Laboratory, GADAM Centre of Excellence, Krzywoustego 2, 44–100 Gliwice, Poland
Corresponding
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Abstract

Large sets of radiocarbon dates of 1019 peat, 155 speleothem, and 100 tufa samples, as well as dates of 330 fluvial samples, were investigated in order to estimate environmental variability during the last 16,000 calendar years in Poland. All 14C dating was carried out in the Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory, and results are stored in the RoS database. Probability density functions (PDFs) were created by summing up (on the calendar timescale) individual age probability distributions of all dates for different types of material and for different regions of Poland. We used an updated version of the Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory calibration program GdCALIB. The 14C dates were calibrated using the IntCal04 calibration curve (Reimer et al. 2004), and results were compared with other paleoenvironmental records. The authors conclude that analyzing PDFs of different types of sediments can be helpful in the qualitative reconstruction of the past environment. The PDF for peat samples primarily reflects paleohydrological conditions; the PDFs for speleothem and tufa samples reflect changes in temperature and humidity, while analysis of the PDF created for fluvial data is in a general agreement with the PDFs constructed for peat samples.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

References

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