A Dendrochronological Study of the Great Salt Lake Basin

TitleA Dendrochronological Study of the Great Salt Lake Basin
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsWoodhouse, C
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Geography
DegreeMaster of Science
Number of Pages77
Date Published03/1989
UniversityUniversity of Utah
CitySalt Lake City
Keywordsclimatic variability, dendrochronology, dendroclimatology, Geography, great salt lake basin, indices, precipitation, salt lake, temperature, tree ring

To date, no tree-ring chronologies have been generated for the Great Salt Lake basin. There is evidence of a winter air mass boundary across this area. Since the region receives a precipitation maximum in the winter and spring, information about boundary location variability would be useful. Tree-ring widths may be related to climatic variables and provide a record of past climate.Four tree-ring chronologies in the four corners of the Great Salt Lake basin were generated using standard dendrochronological techniques. Precipitation and temperature data for the area were regionalized and tree-ring indices were correlated with regional temperature seasons and with precipitation regions and seasons. The chronologies were factor analyzed for the period of common growth, 1593-1985, and broken down into seven overlapping one hundred-year periods.During the period for which there are weather records, tree growth in the northwest site was correlated with temperature variables, while in the other three sites, tree growth was mostly correlated with precipitation. The results of the factor analysis of the chronologies for the seven time periods were consistent with the correlation results. The results also indicate a similar pattern of variation of growth for the time periods of 1593-1650 and 1825-1940.The four Great Basin chronology sites are located in a unique region and may be used to learn about climatic variability in this area.


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