Pollen Geochronology from the Atlantic Coast of the United States during the Last 500 Years

Christie, Margaret A. and Bernhardt, Christopher E. and Parnell, Andrew C. and Shaw, Timothy A. and Khan, Nicole S. and Corbett, D.Reide. and Garcia-Artola, Ane and Clear, Jennifer and Walker, Jennifer S. and Donnelly, Jeffrey P. and Hasse, Tobias R. and Horton, Benjamin P. (2021) Pollen Geochronology from the Atlantic Coast of the United States during the Last 500 Years. Water, 13 (3). ISSN 2073-4441

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Building robust age–depth models to understand climatic and geologic histories from
coastal sedimentary archives often requires composite chronologies consisting of multi-proxy age
markers. Pollen chronohorizons derived from a known change in vegetation are important for age–
depth models, especially those with other sparse or imprecise age markers. However, the accuracy of
pollen chronohorizons compared to other age markers and the impact of pollen chronohorizons on the
precision of age–depth models, particularly in salt marsh environments, is poorly understood. Here,
we combine new and published pollen data from eight coastal wetlands (salt marshes and mangroves)
along the Atlantic Coast of the United States (U.S.) from Florida to Connecticut to define the age
and uncertainty of 17 pollen chronohorizons. We found that 13 out of 17 pollen chronohorizons
were consistent when compared to other age markers (radiocarbon, radionuclide 137Cs and pollution
markers). Inconsistencies were likely related to the hyperlocality of pollen chronohorizons, mixing of
salt marsh sediment, reworking of pollen from nearby tidal flats, misidentification of pollen signals,
and inaccuracies in or misinterpretation of other age markers. Additionally, in a total of 24 models,
including one or more pollen chronohorizons, increased precision (up to 41 years) or no change was
found in 18 models.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: pollen; age–depth models; geochronology; Holocene; coastal wetlands
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Geography and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Matthew Adams
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2021 10:45
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3244

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