Monte Carlo uncertainty calculation of Pb-210 chronologies and accumulation rates of sediments and peat bogs
2014 (English)In: Quaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, Vol. 23, 80-93 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Pb-210 dating is a key technique to study sedimentary records of environmental change in the Anthropocene over a time scale of 100-150 years. Uncertainty estimation of Pb-210 ages and accumulation rates, when provided by the authors, are usually based on quadratic propagation of uncertainties. In this work, we describe the use of Monte Carlo simulation to estimate Pb-210 dating uncertainties in sediment and peat cores. The methodology allows, by using nowadays common computers, the assessment of Pb-210 dating uncertainties in a simple manner, using readily-accessible computers and widely-used proprietary spreadsheet software, and avoiding the derivation of rather complex formulae. Results were calculated and compared with quadratic propagation uncertainties in a marine, lacustrine and peat bog core. The analysis of the uncertainty budgets indicated that, overall, the total and unsupported (or base) (210)pb concentrations are the largest contributors to uncertainty, as well as the layer depths when sediment accumulation rates were calculated. Beyond Pb-210 dating, the Monte Carlo scheme described here could be used in any field of the analytical sciences, including other radiochronological applications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 23, 80-93 p.
Pb-210 dating, Uncertainty, Sediment core, Peat bog core, Monte Carlo statistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93463DOI: 10.1016/j.quageo.2014.06.002ISI: 000340988000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-93463DiVA: diva2:785547