Dendrochronological Applications

  • ology: the study of
  • chronos: time, or more specifically events in past time
  • dendros: using trees, or more specifically the growth rings of trees
Applications in dendrochronology include:
  • ecology: insect outbreaks, forest stand structure, past fires (see image to the right):
    • The white arrows indicate distinct fires of the past
    • Each of those fires has been dendrochronologically dated to the year it burned
  • climatology: past droughts or cold periods
  • geology: past earthquakes, volcanic eruptions
  • anthropology: past construction, habitation, and abandonment of societies
fire-scarred Douglas-fir sample

Common objectives: To meet these objectives, the exact year of formation of each growth ring must be known: Good idea: Follow these web pages to learn why and how to crossdate with skeleton plotting and then try skeleton plotting for yourself.

Introduction | Dendrochronology Applications | Crossdating Application | Ring-Growth Anomalies
Sensitivity-Complacency | Skeleton Plotting | Relative Scale | Master Chronology
Pattern Matching | Finding the Dates | Absent/False Rings | Try Skeleton Plotting for Yourself!
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research

Paul R. Sheppard
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721 USA
office: (520) 621-6474, fax: (520) 621-8229
Comments to:

Copyright © 1998, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona
Revised -- December, 1998