Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

On the Use of 210Pb-based Records of Sedimentation Rates and Activity Concentrations for Tracking Past Environmental Changes

Version 1 : Received: 7 January 2022 / Approved: 11 January 2022 / Online: 11 January 2022 (13:07:38 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 2022, 244, 106823
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2022.106823


Lead-210 from natural atmospheric fallout is widely used in multidisciplinary studies to date recent sediments. Some of the 210Pb-based dating models can produce historical records of sediment accumulation rates (SAR) and initial activity concentrations ( ). The former have been profusely used to track past changes in the sedimentary conditions. Both physical magnitudes are differently affected by model errors (those arising for the partial or null accomplishment of some model assumptions). This work is aimed at assessing the effects on SAR and of model errors in the CRS, CS, PLUM and TERESA dating models, due to random variability in 210Pb fluxes, which is a usual sedimentary condition. Synthetic cores are used as virtual laboratories for this goal. Independently of the model choice, SARs are largely affected by model errors, resulting in some large and spurious deviations from the true values. This questions their general use for tracking past environmental changes. are less sensitive to model errors and their trends of change with time may reflect real changes in sedimentary conditions, as it is shown with some real cores from varved sediments.


210Pb dating; sedimentary conditions; model errors; initial activity concentrations; tracking environmental changes


EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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