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Paleohydrological records from peat profiles and speleothems in Sutherland, northwest Scotland

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Baker, Bettina Geary, Dr John Proctor


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Paleohydrological changes during the late Holocene are inferred from humification, testate amoebae, and pollen evidence from three blanket peat profiles in northwest Scotland, Replicate peat humification records from the Traligill basin share the same patterns of change for a 600-yr period of overlap between 1800 and 2400 cal yr B.P. The shared patterns, inferred from samples with a resolution of 5-13 yr,represent basinwide hydrological changes. In a nearby, but hydrologically separate, area with caves beneath peat, the luminescence emission wavelength measured in two speleothem samples correlated with the humification record in the overlying peat, This correlation implies that speleothem luminescence emission wavelength depends primarily on decay rates in the soils from which drip waters are derived, as long as there is no major change in soil or vegetation. The peat and speleothem records from the cave site further correlate with the peat records from the Traligill basin. Taken together, the records thus represent a regional climatic signal. Peaks in surface wetness replicated in two or more records occur at ca, 2300, 2090, 2030, 1820, 1600, and 1440 cal yr B.P. Further peaks occur at 800, 570, and 115 cal yr B.P. in the humification and stalagmite records that extend to the present day. Correlative changes have been observed, not only in other peat records from Scotland but also in ice accumulation at GISP2, These further correlations imply that precipitation regimes in Scotland and Greenland were in phase during the late Holocene. (C) 2001 University of Washington.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Charman DJ, Caseldine C, Baker A, Gearey B, Hatton J, Proctor C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternary Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 55

Issue: 2

Pages: 223-234

ISSN (print): 0033-5894

ISSN (electronic): 1096-0287

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1006/qres.2000.2190


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