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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The formation of tephra layers in peatlands: An experimental approach
Authors: Payne, Richard
Gehrels, Maria
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Keywords: Cryptotephra
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Payne R & Gehrels M (2010) The formation of tephra layers in peatlands: An experimental approach, CATENA, 81 (1), pp. 12-23.
Abstract: Tephrochronology provides a valuable method of dating peat deposits but results may be compromised if tephra undergoes significant post-depositional movement. This study takes an experimental approach to investigate the processes of tephra taphonomy. Tephra was applied to peats and movement monitored over periods of up to 6 years. Experiments combined field studies on six British peatlands with rainfall simulation experiments in the laboratory. Tephra moved up to 15 cm down through the peat but the vast majority remained at the surface at time of deposition, forming a layer which accurately recorded the palaeo-surface. Tephra moved both down, by shards sinking through the peat, and up, with shards probably being moved by plant growth or with water table variability. The extent of tephra movement most likely depends on the density and porosity of the surface peat; there is no simple relationship with wetness. There is some indication that the extent of tephra movement depends on the tephra particle size but this will require further work to confirm. The taphonomy of tephra is an important issue which should be considered in all tephrochronology studies in peatlands.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: Published in CATENA by Elsevier; Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute their accepted author manuscripts for their personal voluntary needs and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution’s repository, e-mailing to colleagues. The Elsevier Policy is as follows: Authors retain the right to use the accepted author manuscript for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting provided that these are not for purposes of commercial use or systematic distribution. An "accepted author manuscript" is the author’s version of the manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the processes of submission processing, peer review, and editor-author communications.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Plymouth

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