Multiple varve chronologies for the last 2000 years from the sediments of Lake Żabińskie (northeastern Poland) - comparison of strategies for varve counting and uncertainty estimations

Maurycy Żarczyński , Wojciech Tylmann , Tomasz Goslar


This study compares different methods to count biogenic varves in Lake Żabińskie in northeastern Poland. To perform this comparison, we used 2000 years-long varved sediment record from this lake because of the well-preserved laminations as well as the independent age controls, i.e. 29 AMS14C dates, 137Cs activity peaks and volcanic glass shards (1875 AD Askja cryptotephra). Microscopic investigations of thin sections allowed us to identify six major varve microfacies along the sediment profile. Using these microfacies, we tested three counting methods and different approaches of counting uncertainty estimation. These methods provided comparable numbers of varves (1943 ± 30, 2034 ± 34, 2028 +34/-53) and similar shapes in the age-depth relations. However, in two methods, we found possible disadvantages in arbitrary assumptions and subjective decisions in the process of chronology building, procedures leading to age underestimation as well as problems with reliable and objective estimations of counting uncertainty. Based on these results, we propose the counting method which include analyses of major varve microfacies and three independent countings without the need for varve-by-varve microscopic investigations. This method provided acceptable results (<5% uncertainty) and was more objective and less time-consuming. Semi-automatic counting using μXRF Ca record in the sediments was also tested and provided results that can serve as a first approximation of the number of varves. Our study also indicates that different counting strategies may lead to different uncertainty estimations, which may be important in the reliable interpretation of proxy data.
Author Maurycy Żarczyński (FOG / IG / DGQG)
Maurycy Żarczyński,,
- Department of Geomorphology and Quarternary Geology
, Wojciech Tylmann (FOG / IG / DGQG)
Wojciech Tylmann,,
- Department of Geomorphology and Quarternary Geology
, Tomasz Goslar - [Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu]
Tomasz Goslar,,
- Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Journal seriesQuaternary Geochronology, ISSN 1871-1014, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englishlake sediments, varves, sediment chronology, age-depth model, varve counting
ASJC Classification1901 Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous); 1913 Stratigraphy; 1907 Geology
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)40
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 40.0, 29-05-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 1; Scopus Citations = 2; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.287; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 3.962 (2) - 2018=3.633 (5)
Citation count*5 (2020-06-02)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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