The 8.2-ka BP event in north-eastern North America: first combined oxygen and hydrogen isotopic data from peat in Newfoundland

Daley, T. J.; Barber, K. E.; Hughes, P. D. M.; Loader, N. J.; Leuenberger, Markus; Street-Perrott, F. A. (2016). The 8.2-ka BP event in north-eastern North America: first combined oxygen and hydrogen isotopic data from peat in Newfoundland. Journal of quaternary science JQS, 31(4), pp. 416-425. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 10.1002/jqs.2870

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Finding direct evidence for atmospheric circulation change in terrestrial records of Holocene climate variability remains a fundamental challenge. Here we present the first combined stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopic palaeorecord from a peatland core in Newfoundland, Canada. Sphagnum cellulose samples were isolated from a core from Nordan's Pond Bog, Newfoundland, and analysed for δD values. Combined with existing δ18O data, the resulting δD/δ18O bi-plot correlates directly with existing measurements of the modern (late 20th century) isotopic composition of precipitation from GNIP stations in Nova Scotia and Labrador, implying a close relationship between the estimated isotopic composition of source water used by the mosses and that of the source precipitation. We use the relative variations between the two isotope records to test the hypothesis that atmospheric circulation changed in the millennium following the 8.2-ka BP climate event. The data reveal a secondary complex isotopic response ∼200 years (8250–8050 a BP) after a primary oxygen isotopic event that is widespread in the north Atlantic region. This secondary event is characterized by a divergence in oxygen and hydrogen isotope records that can most plausibly be explained by the augmentation of precipitation moisture from a more distant and more continental vapour source.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Leuenberger, Markus


500 Science > 530 Physics




John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

15 Sep 2016 11:08

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2016 11:08

Publisher DOI:





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