Two decadally resolved records from north-west European peat bogs show rapid climate changes associated with solar variability during the mid-late Holocene

Dmitri Mauquoy, D. Yeloff, B. Van Geel, D. Charman, A. Blundell

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Two C-14 accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) wiggle-match dated peat sequences from Denmark and northern England record changes in mire Surface wetness reconstructed using plant macrofossil and testate amoebae analyses. A number of significant mid-late Holocene climatic deteriorations (wet shifts) associated with declines in solar activity were recorded (at ca. 2150 cal. yr BC, 740 cal. yr BC, cal. yr AD 930, cal. yr AD 1020, cal. yr AD 1280-1300, cal. yr AD 1640 and cal. yr AD 1790-1830). The wet shifts identified from ca. cal. yr AD 930 are Concurrent with or lag decreases in solar activity by 10-50 years. These changes are replicated by previous records from these and other sites in the region and the new records provide improved precision for the ages of these changes. The rapidly accumulating (LIP to 2-3 yr cm(-1), similar to 1310 yr old, 34 14 C dates) Danish profile offers an unprecedented high-resolution record of climate change from a peat bog, and has effectively recorded a number of significant but short-lived climate change events since ca. cal. yr AD 690. The longer time intervals between samples and the greater length of time resolved by each sample in the British site due to slower peat accumulation rates (up to 11 yr cm(-1), similar to 5250 yr old, 42 14 C dates) acted as a natural smoothing filter preventing the clear registration of some of the rapid climate change events. Not all the significant rises in water table registered in the peat bog archives of the British and Danish sites have been caused by solar forcing, and may be the result of other processes Such as changes in other external forcing factors, the internal variability of the climate system or raised bog ecosystem. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-763
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Issue number8
Early online date9 Apr 2008
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • climate change
  • Sphagnum mires
  • C-14 wiggle-match dating
  • solar forcing
  • Holocene
  • Medieval Warm Period
  • water-table changes
  • testate amebas
  • raised bogs
  • Atlantic climate
  • Walton moss
  • ice-age
  • England
  • macrofossil
  • peatlands

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