speedating life - What is tree ring dating

Example: analyzing changes in tree growth patterns via tree rings to date a series of landslide events.

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Overlapping and correlating rings have been used to produce “chronologies” of past years.

Linear sequences of rings are obtained by cross-matching tree ring patterns from living trees and those from older dead wood.

Insect infestation clearly manifests itself, as does disease or fire damage. Day length, amount of sunshine, water potential, nutrients, age of tree, temperature, rainfall, height above ground, and proximity to a branch all impact tree growth and tree ring production.

By assuming the outer ring records the most recent year and that each ring signals one year, a researcher can determine the “date” of a particular ring simply by counting rings.

Example: analyzing the effects of air pollution on tree growth by studying changes in ring widths over time.

The science that uses tree rings to date earth surface processes that created, altered, or shaped the landscape.

The rings are the cambium layer, a ring of cells that lie between the wood and bark and from which new bark and wood cells originate; each year a new cambium is created leaving the previous one in place.

How large the cambium's cells grow in each year--measured as the width of each ring--is dependent on seasonal changes such as temperature and moisture availability.

Example: dating the tree rings of a beam from a ruin in the American Southwest to determine when it was built.

The science that uses tree rings to study present climate and reconstruct past climate.

Each year a tree’s growth ring has two parts; one is wide and light colored, and the other is narrow and dark. This grows during the wet spring and early summer when the tree has a lot of sap, and the cambium cells giving rise to the trunk growth are large and thin walled.

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