Changes in solar activity and Holocene climate shifts derived from 14C wiggle-match dated peat deposits

Dmitri Mauquoy, B. Van Geel, M. Blaauw, A. Speranza, J. van Der Plicht

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Closely spaced sequences of accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) C-14 dates of peat deposits display century-scale wiggles which can be fitted to the radiocarbon calibration curve. By wiggle-matching such sequences, high-precision calendar age chronologies can be generated which show that changes in mire surface wetness during the Bronze Age/Iron Age transition (c. 850 cal. BC) and the 'Little Ice Age' (Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and Dalton Minima) occurred during periods of suddenly increasing atmospheric concentration of C-14. Replicate evidence from peat-based proxy climate indicators in northwest Europe suggest these changes in climate may have been driven by temporary declines of solar activity. Carbon-accumulation rates of two raised peat bogs in the UK and Denmark record low values during the 'Little Ice Age' which reflects reduced primary productivity of the peat-forming vegetation during these periods of climatic deterioration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalThe Holocene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • solar forcing
  • Delta C-14
  • C-14 wiggle-match dating
  • palaeoclimate
  • Sphagnum
  • carbon accumulation
  • late Holocene
  • 'Little Ice Age"
  • radiocarbon time scale
  • last millennium
  • calibration program
  • volcanic eruptions
  • geomagnetic field
  • age calibration
  • variable sun
  • ice age
  • AMS
  • macrofossils


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