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

Department of Environmental Studies, McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157, USA
Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08854, USA
Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA 20192, USA
Hamilton Institute, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Maynooth University, W23 F2K8 Kildare, Ireland
Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Department of Earth Sciences and the Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
Department of Coastal Studies, East Carolina University, Wanchese, NC 27981, USA
Departamento de Geología, Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU, 48080 Bilbao, Spain
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool 13088, UK
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Singapore and Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marcel J. F. Stive and Monica Bini
Water 2021, 13(3), 362;
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 26 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 31 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact on Coastal Environments)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollen; age–depth models; geochronology; Holocene; coastal wetlands pollen; age–depth models; geochronology; Holocene; coastal wetlands
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MDPI and ACS Style

Christie, M.A.; Bernhardt, C.E.; Parnell, A.C.; Shaw, T.A.; Khan, N.S.; Corbett, D.R.; García-Artola, A.; Clear, J.; Walker, J.S.; Donnelly, J.P.; Hasse, T.R.; Horton, B.P. Pollen Geochronology from the Atlantic Coast of the United States during the Last 500 Years. Water 2021, 13, 362.

AMA Style

Christie MA, Bernhardt CE, Parnell AC, Shaw TA, Khan NS, Corbett DR, García-Artola A, Clear J, Walker JS, Donnelly JP, Hasse TR, Horton BP. Pollen Geochronology from the Atlantic Coast of the United States during the Last 500 Years. Water. 2021; 13(3):362.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Christie, Margaret A., Christopher E. Bernhardt, Andrew C. Parnell, Timothy A. Shaw, Nicole S. Khan, D. R. Corbett, Ane García-Artola, Jennifer Clear, Jennifer S. Walker, Jeffrey P. Donnelly, Tobias R. Hasse, and Benjamin P. Horton. 2021. "Pollen Geochronology from the Atlantic Coast of the United States during the Last 500 Years" Water 13, no. 3: 362.

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