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.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below