Cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

Dendrochronology - Wikipedia

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

defined as the sum of the earlywood and latewood in each ring. These concentric . The strict application of the crossdating method gives dendrochronology the. and crossdating tree rings using Juniperus virginiana L. (eastern redcedar) as a case A standard definition of the earlywood-latewood boundary that can be. Tree rings provided truly known-age material needed to check the used in other dating techniques but is defined differently, as in the case of.

Cores are glued to a grooved pieces of wood such that the tracheids were approximately 30o from their original vertical orientation, ensuring maximum visibility of the latewood to earlywood transition between successive years.


The wood is sanded with progressive finer paper to expose the growth rings for counting and measurement of ring width. The fundamental technique in dendrochronology is cross-dating, whereby distinctive series of narrow and wider tree rings are identified and matched among trees of different ages. Calendar years can then be assigned to rings from dead wood. This extends tree-ring chronologies beyond the life spans of living trees, and enables dating of pre-historic events e.

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

Cross dating among tree ring series of about the same length and age enables the detection of missing and false rings. Annual growth rings can be missing in unusually cold or dry growing seasons. False rings represent renewed growth after a cold or dry weather causes the formation of late wood mid way through a growing season.

That is, two poorly defined rings correspond to one calendar year and thus one is considered false.

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

Sensitive tree-ring series contain the best signatures but can also have missing and false rings, and partial rings growth truncated during growing season. Cross-dating of multiple ring-width series and chronological control absolute dates enable long master chronologies e. Dendrogeomorphology The timing of recent geomorphic and hydrologic events can be established, where they have interrupted or disturbed the growth of coniferous trees Shroder, Landslides generally result in tree mortality, especially along the lateral and terminal margins, and on the lower parts of landslides where the substrate tends to be severely disturbed.

The year of mortality can be determined by cross-dating of ring width signatures from the dead and living trees. Some trees survive, although generally under poor growing conditions and tilted.


Growth rings result from new growth in the vascular cambiuma layer of cells near the bark that botanists classify as a lateral meristem ; this growth in diameter is known as secondary growth. Visible rings result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year; thus, critical for the title method, one ring generally marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree.

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

Removal of the bark of the tree in a particular area may cause deformation of the rings as the plant overgrows the scar. The rings are more visible in trees which have grown in temperate zoneswhere the seasons differ more markedly. The inner portion of a growth ring forms early in the growing season, when growth is comparatively rapid hence the wood is less dense and is known as "early wood" or "spring wood", or "late-spring wood" [17] ; the outer portion is the "late wood" sometimes termed "summer wood", often being produced in the summer, though sometimes in the autumn and is denser.

Many trees in temperate zones produce one growth-ring each year, with the newest adjacent to the bark. Hence, for the entire period of a tree's life, a year-by-year record or ring pattern builds up that reflects the age of the tree and the climatic conditions in which the tree grew. Adequate moisture and a long growing season result in a wide ring, while a drought year may result in a very narrow one.

Direct reading of tree ring chronologies is a complex science, for several reasons.

First, contrary to the single-ring-per-year paradigm, alternating poor and favorable conditions, such as mid-summer droughts, can result in several rings forming in a given year. At present, tree rings are still used to calibrate radiocarbon determinations.

Radiocarbon Dating, Tree Rings, Dendrochronology

Libraries of tree rings of different calendar ages are now available to provide records extending back over the last 11, years. The trees often used as references are the bristlecone pine Pinus aristata found in the USA and waterlogged Oak Quercus sp. Radiocarbon dating laboratories have been known to use data from other species of trees.

Radiocarbon Tree-Ring Calibration In principle, the age of a certain carbonaceous sample can be easily determined by comparing its radiocarbon content to that of a tree ring with a known calendar age. If a sample has the same proportion of radiocarbon as that of the tree ring, it is safe to conclude that they are of the same age.

In practice, tree-ring calibration is not as straightforward due to many factors, the most significant of which is that individual measurements made on the tree rings and the sample have limited precision so a range of possible calendar years is obtained.

And indeed, results of calibration are often given as an age range rather than an absolute value. Age ranges are calculated either by the intercept method or the probability method, both of which need a calibration curve.

Radiocarbon Tree-Ring Calibration

Calibration Curves The first calibration curve for radiocarbon dating was based on a continuous tree-ring sequence stretching back to 8, years. This tree-ring sequence, established by Wesley Ferguson in the s, aided Hans Suess to publish the first useful calibration curve.

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

In later years, the use of accelerator mass spectrometers and the introduction of high-precision carbon dating have also generated calibration curves. A high-precision radiocarbon calibration curve published by a laboratory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, used dendrochronology data based on the Irish oak.

cross dating methods in dendrochronology definition

Nowadays, the internationally agreed upon calendar calibration curves reach as far back as about BC Reimer et.