The potential for a millennial length, spatially dense monsoon reconstruction from tree-rings in New Mexico, USA

Authors: Trevis Matheus*, California State University Fullerton, Justin Maxwell, Indiana University, Bloomington, Grant Harley, University of Idaho
Topics: Biogeography, Climatology and Meteorology, Physical Geography
Keywords: Tree Rings, Climate, Dendrochronology, North American Monsoon, New Mexico
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Marshall East, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A multi-century reconstruction of precipitation in New Mexico (NM) would improve our understanding of historical precipitation variability in the state. Warm-season precipitation (June-August) during the North American Monsoon (NAM) is particularly important as it accounts for the majority of the annual precipitation in the state. By sampling new sites and remnant wood, this study will increase the temporal and spatial extent of the tree-ring network in NM. The updated sub-annual NM tree-ring network will consist of a dozen sampled sites composed of Pinus ponderosa, and Pseudotsuga menziesii from throughout the state. Preliminary data from four of these sites has identified one site that spans over a millennium (1,188 years). Two of the sites seem to represent warm season precipitation well having significant r-values of 0.47 and 0.50 (p < 0.05) while two sites have lower r-values of 0.22 and 0.18 (p < 0.05). These results indicate that increasing the spatial resolution of sites to create long lived NAM reconstructions in NM is feasible. However, as more sites are analyzed it is important to determine why two of the sites so far have r-values twice as high as the other two? This question will need to be addressed before a statewide reconstruction can be completed in the near future.

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