Dendrogeomorphology review and new techniques of tree ring dating

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Dendrochronology is a science of precise dating, by the accurate counting of annual tree growth-rings, which allows dating wooden items to the year.

The pattern of annual tree-rings differs each year, depending upon the growing conditions at the time.

The unique sequence of tree-rings resulting from the pattern of weather conditions match up with the yearly records for weather we have for England over approximately the last 300 years.

However, the pattern of weather is recorded in the tree-rings from before this time and when trees were growing at the same time they will broadly show the same unique sequence of tree-rings from the climatic conditions they experienced at that time.

Due to the sweeping and diverse applications of this data, specialists can come from many academic disciplines.

There are no degrees in dendrochronology because though it is useful across the board, the method itself is fairly limited.

A harsh winter or dry/hot summer generally has a negative effect on a tree's growth causing a narrow tree-ring in that year.Weather characteristics and the likely effect on the development of the tree-ring produced in that year by a living tree:- In the short 83 year sequence exampled in the graph below which plots each successive year's ring width agaist time, the result is a distinctive trace of narrow and wide rings.Tree-ring dating matches the specific annual variation in a tree-ring sequence (in other words, the pattern of narrow to wide rings), to the corresponding years of an established chronology to enable dating.In most tree species in the British Isles a single tree-ring is produced each year and the tree-ring’s width varies in response to environmental factors, particularly rainfall and temperature.Generally speaking the milder the weather the larger the tree-ring.

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