A depth-derived Pleistocene age model: Uncertainty estimates, sedimentation variability, and nonlinear climate change



[1] A new chronology of glaciation, spanning the last 780,000 years, is estimated from 21 marine sediment cores using depth as a proxy for time. To avoid biasing this “depth-derived” age estimate, the depth scale is first corrected for the effects of sediment compaction. To provide age uncertainty estimates, the spatial and temporal variability of marine sediment accumulation rates are estimated and modeled as an autocorrelated stochastic process. Depth-derived ages are estimated to be accurate to within ±9000 years, and within this uncertainty are consistent with the orbitally tuned age estimates. Nonetheless, the remaining differences between the depth and orbitally tuned chronologies produce important differences in the spectral domain. From the δ18O record, using the depth-derived ages, we infer that there are weak nonlinearities involving the 100 kyr and obliquity frequency bands which generate interaction bands at sum and difference frequencies. If an orbitally tuned age model is instead applied, these interactions are suppressed, with the system appearing more nearly linear.