Reevaluating the Florence Hawley Collection and Development of Hydroclimate Reconstructions in the Tennessee Valley Region

Authors: Laura Smith*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Applied Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, Environmental Science
Keywords: Dendrochronology, dendroclimatology, hydroclimate reconstructions, eastern red cedar
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Marshall East, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the early and mid-1930s as part of a large-scale effort to introduce tree-ring analysis to the southeastern United States, Florence Hawley (University of Chicago) in association with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), William Webb (University of Kentucky) and other collaborators, collected wood samples of various species from living trees and from Native American archaeological sites that would later be inundated by the Norris Reservoir in eastern Tennessee. One subset of samples, the eastern red cedars (Juniperus virginiana), was thought to be especially promising for long chronologies and archaeology but was problematic for dating due to false and micro-rings. Since that time, advances in techniques and technologies allow dendrochronologists to measure tree rings with more precision and to more clearly elucidate micro-structures that aid in the identification of false rings. A subset of Dr. Hawley’s red cedar samples was recently cross-dated and analyzed for climate response. These data contribute to a multi-species precipitation reconstruction in east Tennessee that spans from AD 1380-1990. The reconstructed precipitation data will be used with inflow models to assess drought vulnerability at multiple locations within the TVA management area under various potential drought scenarios.

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