Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Unexpected Problems in AMS 14C Dating of Fen Peat

  • Minna Väliranta (a1), Markku Oinonen (a2), Heikki Seppä (a3), Sanna Korkonen (a1), Sari Juutinen (a4) and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila (a5)...

Abstract

Four fen peat sequences in northern Finland were dated by the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon method in order to study past peatland dynamics and carbon accumulation patterns. Initially, plant macrofossils were used for dating. However, the dates were severely disordered, with marked inversions in all sequences. In one 140-cm peat core, for example, all ages fell within a ∼1000-yr time window. Following these unreliable results, a few bulk peat samples were dated to help assess if any of the plant macrofossil-derived dates were reliable. Bulk dates did not help to solve the problem. This study evaluates the possible sources of error but is unable to single out one clear cause. It is probable that many factors related to the fen environment, such as flooding and root intrusion, may have contributed to the errors. Peat plant macrofossils and bulk peat samples are considered to be reliable dating materials, but the examples given herein highlight the difficulties that can be associated with AMS dating of peat samples.

Copyright

Corresponding author

2. Corresponding author. Email: minna.valiranta@helsinki.fi.

References

Hide All
Barnekow, L, Possnert, G, Sandgren, P. 1998. AMS 14C chronologies of Holocene lake sediments in the Abisko area, northern Sweden – a comparison between dated bulk sediment and macrofossil samples. Geologiska Föreningens Stockholm Förhandlingar 120(1):5967.
Billett, M, Garnett, M, Dinsmore, K, Leith, F. 2013. Source and age of carbon in peatland surface waters: new insights from 14C analysis. Abstract EGU2013-7595, EGU General Assembly, 7–12 April 2013, Vienna, Austria.
Blaauw, M, van der Plicht, J, van Geel, B. 2004. Radiocarbon dating of bulk peat samples from raised bogs: non-existence of a previously reported ‘reservoir effect’? Quaternary Science Reviews 23(14–15):1537–42.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009a. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51(1):337–60.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009b. Dealing with outliers and offsets in radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 51(3):1023–45.
Donner, J, Jungner, H, Vasari, Y. 1971. The hard-water effect on radiocarbon measurements of samples from Säynälampi, north-east Finland. Commentationes Physico-Mathematicae 41:307–10.
Glaser, PH, Volin, JH, Givnish, TJ, Hansen, BCS, Stricker, CA. 2012. Carbon and sediment accumulation in the Everglades (USA) during the past 4000 years: rates, drivers, and sources of error. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: G03026, doi:10.1029/2011JG001821.
Head, K, Turney, CSM, Pilcher, JR, Palmer, JG, Baillie, MGL. 2007. Problems with identifying the ‘8200-year cold event’ in terrestrial records of the Atlantic seaboard: a case study from Dooagh, Achill Island, Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science 22(1):6575.
Juutinen, S, Väliranta, M, Kuutti, V, Laine, AM, Virtanen, T, Seppä, H, Weckström, J, Tuittila, E-S. 2013. Short-term and long-term carbon dynamics in a northern peatland-stream-lake continuum: a catchment approach. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 118(1):171–83.
Kilian, MR, van der Plicht, J, van Geel, B. 1995. Dating raised bogs: new aspects of AMS 14C wiggle matching, a reservoir effect and climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews 14(10):959–66.
Kultti, S, Väliranta, M, Sarmaja-Korjonen, K, Solovieva, N, Virtanen, T, Kauppila, T, Eronen, M. 2003. Palaeoecological evidence of changes in vegetation and climate during the Holocene in the pre-Polar Urals, Northeast European Russia. Journal of Quaternary Science 18(6):503–20.
Larmola, T, Tuittila, ES, Tiirola, M, Nykänen, H, Martikainen, PJ, Yrjälä, K, Tuomivirta, T, Fritze, H. 2010. The role of Sphagnum mosses in the methane cycling of a boreal mire. Ecology 91(8):2356–65.
Mäkelä, E. 1998. The Holocene history of Betula at Lake Iilompolo, Inari Lapland, northeastern Finland. The Holocene 8(1):5567.
Mäkilä, M, Moisanen, M. 2007. Holocene lateral expansion and carbon accumulation of Luovuoma, a northern fen in Finnish Lapland. Boreas 36(2):198210.
McGeehin, J, Burr, GS, Jull, AJT, Reines, D, Gosse, J, Davis, PT, Muhs, D, Southon, JR. 2001. Stepped-combustion 14C dating of sediment: a comparison with established techniques. Radiocarbon 43(2A):255–61.
McGeehin, J, Burr, GS, Hodgins, G, Bennett, SJ, Robbins, JA, Morehead, N, Markewich, H. 2004. Stepped-combustion 14C dating of bomb carbon in lake sediment. Radiocarbon 46(1):893900.
Nilsson, M, Klarqvist, M, Bohlin, E, Possnert, G. 2001. Variation in 14C age of macrofossils and different fractions of minute peat samples dated by AMS. The Holocene 11(5):579–86.
Olsson, I. 1986. A study of errors in 14C dates of peat and sediment. Radiocarbon 28(2A):429–35.
Pancost, RD, van Geel, B, Baas, M, Sinninghe Damsté, JS. 2000. δ13C values and radiocarbon dates of microbial biomarkers as tracers for carbon recycling in peat deposits. Geology 28(7):663–6.
Putkinen, A, Juottonen, H, Juutinen, S, Tuittila, ES, Fritze, H, Yrjälä, K. 2009. Archaeal rRNA communities and methane production in deep boreal peat. FEMS Microbial Ecology 70(1):8798.
Raghoebarsing, A A, Smolders, AJ, Schmid, MC, Rijpstra, WI, Wolters-Arts, M, Derksen, J, Jetten, MS, Schouten, S, Sinninghe Damsté, JS, Lamers, LP, Roelofs, JG, Op den Camp, HJ, Strous, M. 2005. Methanotrophic symbionts provide carbon for photosynthesis in peat bogs. Nature 436(7054):1153–6.
Reimer, PJ, Baillie, MGL, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Blackwell, PG, Bronk Ramsey, C, Buck, CE, Burr, GS, Edwards, R, Friedrich, M, Grootes, PM, Guilderson, TP, Hajdas, I, Heaton, TJ, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kaiser, KF, Kromer, B, McCormac, FG, Manning, SW, Reimer, RW, Richards, DA, Southon, JR, Talamo, S, Turney, CSM, van der Plicht, J, Weyhenmeyer, CE. 2009. IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon age calibration curves, 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 51(4):1111–50.
Ruppel, M, Väliranta, M, Virtanen, A, Korhola, A. 2013. Postglacial spatiotemporal peatland initiation and lateral expansion dynamics in North America and northern Europe. The Holocene 23(11):1596–606.
Saarinen, T. 1996. Biomass and production of two vascular plants in a boreal mesotrophic fen. Canadian Journal of Botany 74(6):934–8.
Scott, EM, Cook, GT, Naysmith, P, Bryant, C, O'Donnell, D. 2007. A report on Phase 1 of the 5th International Radiocarbon Intercomparison (VIRI). Radiocarbon 49(2):409–26.
Seppä, H. 1996. Post-glacial dynamics of vegetation and tree-lines in the far north of Fennoscandia. Fennia 174(1):196.
Shore, JS, Bartley, DD, Harkness, DD. 1995. Problems encountered with the 14C dating of peat. Quaternary Science Reviews 14(4):373–83.
Siitonen, S, Väliranta, M, Weckström, J, Juutinen, S, Korhola, A. 2011. Comparison of Cladocera-based water-depth reconstruction against other types of proxy data in Finnish Lapland. Hydrobiologia 676(1):155–72.
Slota, PJ Jr, Jull, AJT, Linick, TW, Toolin, LJ. 1986. Preparation of small samples for 14C accelerator targets by catalytic reduction of CO. Radiocarbon 29(2):303–6.
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(2):355–63.
Tolonen, K, Possnert, G, Jungner, H, Sonninen, E, Alm, J. 1993. High resolution 14C dating of surface peat using the AMS technique. Suo 4–5:271–5.
Törnqvist, TE, de Jong, AFM, Oosterbaan, WA, van der Borg, K. 1992. Accurate dating of organic deposits by AMS 14C measurement of macrofossils. Radiocarbon 34(3):566–77.
Väliranta, M, Kultti, S, Seppä, H. 2006. Vegetation dynamics during the Younger Dryas-Holocene transition in the extreme northern taiga zone, northeastern European Russia. Boreas 35(2):202–12.
Väliranta, M, Weckström, J, Siitonen, S, Seppä, H, Alkio, J, Juutinen, S, Tuittila, ES. 2011. Holocene aquatic ecosystem change in the boreal vegetation zone of northern Finland. Journal of Paleolimnology 45(3):339–52.
van Bellen, S, Garneau, M, Booth, RK. 2011. Holocene carbon accumulation rates from three ombrotrophic peatlands in boreal Quebec, Canada: impact of climate-driven ecohydrological change. The Holocene 21(8):1217–31.
van der Plicht, J. 2012. Borderline radiocarbon. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences–Geologie en Mijnbouw 91(1/2):251–61.
Weckström, J, Seppä, H, Korhola, A. 2010. Climatic influence on peatland formation and lateral expansion in sub-arctic Fennoscandia. Boreas 39(4):761–9.
Wohlfarth, B, Skog, G, Possnert, G, Holmquist, B. 1998. Pitfalls in the AMS radiocarbon-dating of terrestrial macrofossils. Journal of Quaternary Science 13(2):137–45.

Unexpected Problems in AMS 14C Dating of Fen Peat

  • Minna Väliranta (a1), Markku Oinonen (a2), Heikki Seppä (a3), Sanna Korkonen (a1), Sari Juutinen (a4) and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed