A Bayesian Approach to the Use of 14C Dates in the Estimation of the Age of Peat
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CitationChristen, J. A., Clymo, R. S., & Litton, C. D. (1995). A Bayesian approach to the use of 14C dates in the estimation of the age of peat. Radiocarbon, 37(2), 431-441.
AbstractPeatlands occupy a significant portion of the land surface of the Earth and form a large carbon store. Most peat-forming systems have two layers. The upper layer, the acrotelm, fixes carbon by photosynthesis, loses some of it by decay and passes the remainder on to the lower layer, the catotelm. In the catotelm, decay continues at a slower rate. Mathematical models of the growth of the catotelm have been proposed which relate the cumulative mass of peat above a particular depth to calendar age of the peat at that depth. We demonstrate how 14C dating and the Bayesian approach to data analysis can be used to make inferences about the relation between calendar age and cumulative mass, and to estimate the accumulation and decay rates.