A signal-to-noise index to quantify the potential for peak detection in sediment-charcoal records

Ryan F. Kelly, Philip E. Higuera, Carolyn M. Barrett, Feng Sheng Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Charcoal peaks in lake-sediment records are commonly used to reconstruct fire histories spanning thousands of years, but quantitative methods for evaluating the suitability of records for peak detection are largely lacking. We present a signal-to-noise index (SNI) that quantifies the separation of charcoal peaks (signal) from other variability in a record (noise). We validate the SNI with simulated and empirical charcoal records and show that an SNI > 3 consistently identifies records appropriate for peak detection. The SNI thus offers a means to evaluate the suitability of sediment-charcoal records for reconstructing local fires. MATLAB and R functions for calculating SNI are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Charcoal analysis
  • Fire history
  • Lake sediment
  • Paleoecology
  • Signal-to-noise index (SNI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A signal-to-noise index to quantify the potential for peak detection in sediment-charcoal records'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this