The Ages of Peat Deposits


MR. TONKS raises some interesting points to which further reference seems to me desirable, in regard to my article on the ages of peat deposits. That article refers to the peat horizons recognised by Lewis in Scotland and uses the names which Lewis adopted. It points out that these “roughly correspond” to Geikie's well-known climatic periods. Mr. Tonks appears to assume from this that I have accepted and argued from the whole of the implications of the Lewis-Geikie system. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Tonks then apparently accuses me of declaring that Samuelsson has agreed with these implications. It is, in fact, evident from the paragraph in which my reference to Samuelsson occurs—that the points of agreement between Samuelsson and Lewis to which I refer are the nature of the Scotch peat succession, its widespread character and its possible relation to climate. My opinion that these are the main conclusions to be drawn from the work of Lewis remains unshaken. The article further refers to the “submerged forests round the English coasts” and not to those known in Scotland, to which Mr. Tonks refers at length. There appears to be no clear evidence that the English and Scotch submerged forests are of the same age although the suggestion Mr. Tonks makes is quite possible. Much of Mr. Tonks's letter is thus based on misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

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PEARSALL, W. The Ages of Peat Deposits. Nature 115, 118–119 (1925) doi:10.1038/115118a0

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