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Radiocarbon wiggle matching of Swedish lake varves reveals asynchronous climate changes around the 8.2 kyr cold event

  • Ian Snowball
  • Raimund Muscheler
  • Lovisa Zillén
  • Per Sandgren
  • Tania Stanton
  • Karl Ljung
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 720-733
Publication/Series: Boreas
Volume: 39
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

A series of nine radiocarbon measurements obtained at increments of 50 years was used to wiggle match varved sediments in Lake Kalksjon (west central Sweden) to the calendar year time scale provided by the tree-ring-derived radiocarbon calibration curve. The anchor point for a series of 400 varves known to span the '8.2 kyr cold event' was derived from a combination of correlation analysis, Monte Carlo statistics and Bayesian age modelling. The GRIP and NorthGRIP ice-cores were matched to the same absolute time scale by comparing Be-10 data and tree-ring Delta C-14. The radiocarbon-based wiggle match, organic carbon measurements, mineral magnetic parameters and XRF data reconstruct a distinct period of enhanced erosion in Kalksjon's catchment between 8066+/-25 and 7920+/-25 cal. yr BP. Prior to human impact, the increased erosion in the boreal environment is assigned to increased winter precipitation in the form of snow, which caused spring meltwater discharge to intensify. Our results suggest that the abrupt onset of increased winter precipitation in west central Sweden started at least 50 years after the onset of the '8.2 kyr cold event' as defined by oxygen isotope data from Greenland. The study highlights the value of synchronized time scales in the reconstruction of abrupt climate changes based on proxy data.


  • Geology
  • 8.2 kyr cold event
  • climate change
  • radiocarbon wiggle matching
  • Holocene
  • varves


  • ISSN: 1502-3885
Raimund Muscheler
E-mail: raimund [dot] muscheler [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se


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