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

  • Kelly R
  • Higuera P
  • Barrett C
 et al. 
  • 81


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 70


    Citations of this article.


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. © 2010.

Author-supplied keywords

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

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free