Neodymium isotopes in peat reveal past local environmental disturbances

Katarzyna Marcisz* (Corresponding Author), Belka Zdzislaw , Jolanta Dopieralsk, Michał Jakubowicz, Monika Karpińska-Kołaczek, Piotr Kołaczek, Dimitri Mauquoy, Michał Słowiński, Mateusz Zieliński, Mariusz Lamentowicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Over the past decade, the neodymium (Nd) isotope composition of mineral matter from peat cores has seen increasingly common use as a tracer of dust influx associated with major changes in the Holocene atmospheric circulation. However, the incomplete understanding of the local controls on the sources of the sediment supplied to peatlands remains a key difficulty in the interpretation of the archived Nd isotope signals. Here, we used neodymium isotopes to
reconstruct environmental disturbances in peatlands. We performed a multi-proxy study of two peatlands that experienced peatland burning and validated the recorded peat Nd signatures using reference surface sampling. Our data show a link between the Nd isotope signals and local environmental disturbances: peat burning, local fire activity and pollution fluxes. Our study
illustrates the crucial role of identifying local events that influence the supply of mineral material to peatlands. Insufficient recognition of such local controls may either obscure the large-scale variations in the atmospheric circulation patterns, or introduce artefacts to the Holocene climate record. We also provide recommendations for the use of Nd isotopes in palaeoecological studies of peatlands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number161859
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date6 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023

Bibliographical note

The Stawek profile radiocarbon dating and investigation and neodymium measurements were financed by the National Science Centre, Poland, grants no. 2019/03/X/ST10/00849 and 2020/39/D/ST10/00641. The Głęboczek profile radiocarbon dating and investigation were financed by the National Science Centre, Poland, grant no. 2015/17/B/ST10/01656.

Data Availability Statement

All data associated with this article are openly available on Mendeley Data repository under the DOI: 10.17632/rv5h96zvpb.1.


  • peatlands
  • palaeocology
  • sphagnum
  • dust deposition
  • high resolution
  • geochemistry
  • Poland


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