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Some Problems and Implications of 14C Dates from a Podzol Buried beneath an End Moraine at Haugabreen, Southern Norway

John A. Matthews
Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography
Vol. 62, No. 3/4 (1980), pp. 185-208
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
DOI: 10.2307/520677
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/520677
Page Count: 24
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Some Problems and Implications of 14C Dates from a Podzol Buried beneath an End Moraine at Haugabreen, Southern Norway
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Abstract

Eight 14C dates have been obtained from a 5 cm thick Ah horizon of a podzol soil buried in situ beneath the outermost end moraine of the Haugabreen gletschervorfeld, southern Norway. The dates ranged from 880±35 to 3140±55 14C years B.P.; a strong increase in age with depth was indicated; various fractions of soil organic matter were found to differ significantly in age. Ten problems in the interpretation of these results were considered. Date of burial of the palaeopodzol was discussed using multiple working hypotheses, assuming different forms of age/depth relationship and the presence or absence of contamination. Burial during the "Little Ice Age" is most likely, although a conservative maximum estimate of time elapsed since burial is given as 1400 14C years. The recognition of numerous and precisely dated pre- "Little Ice Age" Neoglacial glacier maxima on the basis of 14C dates from well-developed palaeosols is criticized. Apparent mean residence times within such soils are likely to increase steeply with depth and may be of the order of 1000 years within the top 2.5 cm. Some other pedological implications are outlined; it is inferred that at least 3000 years were required for formation of this soil horizon.

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