Current practices in building and reporting age-depth models




Lacourse, Terri
Gajewski, Konrad

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Quaternary Research


Age-depth models provide essential temporal frameworks in paleoenvironmental science. We use a sample of 80 recently-published age-depth models to comment on current practices in building and reporting radiocarbon-based age models. We address options for model building, sampling strategies, dating densities, and best practices for reporting age-depth models and associated data. Our review reveals incomplete reporting of 14C ages, model-building methods, age-depth models and associated meta-data in many recent studies. All information needed to evaluate, reproduce and update an age-depth model should accompany every published model. We also present a case study of building age-depth models for a lake sediment core that has both 14C ages and an independent varve chronology. The case study illustrates that choosing the 'best model' is not a simple task, and that model accuracy is ultimately controlled by differences between 14C ages and true age that likely occur in many late Quaternary records.



age-depth modelling, chronology, accumulation rates, radiocarbon dating, varves


Lacourse, T. & Gajewski, K. (2020). Current practices in building and reporting agedepth models. Quaternary Research.