Advances in the use of tree rings for snowpack reconstruction: the Western Cordilleran Snow Atlas

Authors: Bethany Coulthard*, University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Steven Hostetler, USGS, Kevin J Anchukaitis, University of Arizona, Gregory T Pederson, United States Geological Survey, Jay Alder, United States Geological Survey
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Water Resources and Hydrology, Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: Dendrochronology, tree-rings, snow, drought, water resources
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Mountain snowpacks are a critical source of water supply for human populations and ecosystems. Warming temperatures have caused snowpack deficits over the past several st century, but large uncertainties remains about the direction and magnitude of future trends at the local scales important for water supply decision-making. Our new Western Cordilleran Snow Atlas provides the first opportunity to develop tree-ring based gridded spatial field reconstructions of past snowpack, offering a full space-time characterization of snow and associated water resource fluctuations over several centuries as well as freely-available local-scale paleosnow datasets for water managers. This is a novel large-scale, high-resolution examination of Common Era snowpack dynamics, and the first synthesis of snow-sensitive tree-ring chronologies capitalizing on both moisture-limited and energy-limited tree-growth relationships to snow.

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