EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Bayesian improvements to 210Pb dating

Maarten Blaauw1, Marco Aquino-Lopez2, and J. Andrés Christen2
Maarten Blaauw et al.
  • 1Queen's University Belfast, 14CHRONO Centre, School of Natural and Built Environment, Belfast, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas, Guanajuato 36000, Gto., Mexico

Dating with 210Pb has been instrumental in providing chronologies for sedimentary deposits back to around 100-150 years ago — a key period for recent environmental events such as increased pollution caused by industry developments. However, currently available 210Pb age-models often disagree with and/or cannot incorporate other types of dates, depend highly on the correct estimation of background 210Pb, often underestimate uncertainties and are limited by unrealistic assumptions of sediment accumulation over time. Plum is open-source Bayesian age-modelling software that solves the above problems. It can integrate other dates, produce realistic uncertainty estimates, and extend 210Pb chronologies several decades further back in time. Our method thus enables much more robust chronologies for studies of recent environmental change.

How to cite: Blaauw, M., Aquino-Lopez, M., and Christen, J. A.: Bayesian improvements to 210Pb dating, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1596,, 2021.