Developing new tree-ring chronologies from eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) to seek insight to variations in groundwater resources in central Wisconsin

Authors: Tia Federman*, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Elissa Bahr*, University of Wisconsin - Platteville, Greg Arther, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, April Barr, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Jonathan Ley, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Evan Larson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Christopher Underwood, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Climatology and Meteorology, Biogeography
Keywords: Drought, dendrochronology, groundwater, eastern redcedar, water resources, reconstruction
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


We are developing new multi-century tree-ring chronologies from eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin to explore the possibility of reconstructing drought and groundwater history for the region. Thus far, we have established a mechanistic model that links variability in ring widths to climate conditions that relate to fluctuations in water table levels. We collected 183 cores from 99 living and dead trees across five sites throughout the Driftless Area: Governor Dodge, Wildcat Mountain, Devil's Lake, Perrot, and Nelson Dewey State Parks. Among these sites, we met the greatest success at Devil's Lake State Park, where we obtained 157 cores from 85 trees including remnant sections that contained over 700 growth rings. Though challenging to date due to an abundance of false and missing rings, the current chronology from Devil’s Lake dates from 1697 to 2016, with a 0.275 series intercorrelation. A high-graded chronology spans 1807–2016 with a series intercorrelation of 0.433 and mean sensitivity of 0.397. This chronology shows a significant correlation with instrumental records of summer temperature, precipitation, and drought, and will be integrated with existing oak and pine chronologies for the region to compare with groundwater records. Our initial results are promising and suggest that these new chronologies will provide valuable information to the management of groundwater resources.

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