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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/cpd-8-31-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 03 Jan 2012

Research article | 03 Jan 2012

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

A modelling approach to assessing the timescale uncertainties in proxy series with chronological errors

D. V. Divine1, F. Godtliebsen1,2, and H. Rue3 D. V. Divine et al.
  • 1Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, University of Tromsø, 9037, Norway
  • 2Norwegian Polar Institute, FRAM Centre, 9296 Tromsø, Norway
  • 3Department of Mathematical Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, 7491, Norway

Abstract. The paper proposes an approach to assessment of timescale errors in proxy-based series with chronological uncertainties. The method relies on approximation of the physical process(es) forming a proxy archive by a random Gamma process. Parameters of the process are partly data-driven and partly determined from prior assumptions. For a particular case of a linear accumulation model and absolutely dated tie points an analytical solution is found suggesting the Beta-distributed probability density on age estimates along the length of a proxy archive. In a general situation of uncertainties in the ages of the tie points the proposed method employs MCMC simulations of age-depth profiles yielding empirical confidence intervals on the constructed piecewise linear best guess timescale. It is suggested that the approach can be further extended to a more general case of a time-varying expected accumulation between the tie points. The approach is illustrated by using two ice and two lake/marine sediment cores representing the typical examples of paleoproxy archives with age models based on tie points of mixed origin.

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