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Constructing recent peat accumulation chronologies using atmospheric fall-out radionuclides

Author(s): G. Le Roux | W.A. Marshall

Journal: Mires and Peat
ISSN 1819-754X

Volume: 7;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: 241Am | cross-validation | CRS model | 137Cs | mire | 210Pb dating

Radionuclide dating is a robust technique for establishing the recent accumulation rate for most peatlands. In this article we review the production of ‘fall-out’ radionuclides and the concepts underlying the dating method. Some inherent problems such as the issues surrounding reduced natural radionuclide deposition, e.g. ‘continentality’, are highlighted. We describe the common radionuclide analysis methods, their application to peat studies, and the production of 210Pb activity inventories. To illustrate the radionuclide dating method we use case studies to demonstrate how these data can be used to derive peat accumulation rates during the last 100–150 years at contrasting sites using 210Pb supported by anthropogenic radionuclides.
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