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Durham e-Theses
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Humic and pollen stratigraphy at quick moss, Northumberland

Rowell, Thelma Kathleen (1982) Humic and pollen stratigraphy at quick moss, Northumberland. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study involves the selection and use of suitable methods for measuring a) the rate of peat growth and b) the degree of humification of peat at Quick Moss, an area of blanket peat in the northern Pennines where the earliest peat is about 8,000 years old. The stratigraphy of the peat section is examined systematically for a) variations in peat growth by adding tablets containing spores of Lycopodium clavatum to peat samples during routine pollen analysis and b) the degree of humification of the peat by chemical extraction and assay of the humic acids present in each sample. Two distinct regions are identified in the peat section and a change in the relationship between growth and humification is found to take place at the boundary between the two. The growth rate and degree of humification of the peat, and consequently the relationship between growth and humification at a specific level in the section, appear to have been principally controlled by the prevailing climate, through its effect on humidity and temperature at the bog surface at the time the peat forming plants were growing. The radiocarbon-dated pollen diagram indicates possible local Mesolithic activity, small scale Bronze Age deforestation and an extensive clearance beginning in pre-Roman times and continuing through and beyond the Roman period. A late expansion of alder, the transition from woodland to bog and a rather prolonged elm decline can be seen on the diagram.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 10:58

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