Radiocarbon wiggle matching of Swedish lake varves reveals asynchronous climate changes around the 8.2 kyr cold event

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A series of nine radiocarbon measurements obtained at increments of 50 years was used to wiggle match varved sediments in Lake Kalksjon (west central Sweden) to the calendar year time scale provided by the tree-ring-derived radiocarbon calibration curve. The anchor point for a series of 400 varves known to span the '8.2 kyr cold event' was derived from a combination of correlation analysis, Monte Carlo statistics and Bayesian age modelling. The GRIP and NorthGRIP ice-cores were matched to the same absolute time scale by comparing Be-10 data and tree-ring Delta C-14. The radiocarbon-based wiggle match, organic carbon measurements, mineral magnetic parameters and XRF data reconstruct a distinct period of enhanced erosion in Kalksjon's catchment between 8066+/-25 and 7920+/-25 cal. yr BP. Prior to human impact, the increased erosion in the boreal environment is assigned to increased winter precipitation in the form of snow, which caused spring meltwater discharge to intensify. Our results suggest that the abrupt onset of increased winter precipitation in west central Sweden started at least 50 years after the onset of the '8.2 kyr cold event' as defined by oxygen isotope data from Greenland. The study highlights the value of synchronized time scales in the reconstruction of abrupt climate changes based on proxy data.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • 8.2 kyr cold event, climate change, radiocarbon wiggle matching, Holocene, varves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-733
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch