New tree-ring evidence for the Late Glacial period from the northern pre-Alps in eastern Switzerland

Reinig, F, Nievergelt, D, Esper, J, Friedrich, M, Helle, G, Hellmann, L, Kromer, B, Morganti, S, Pauly, M, Sookdeo, A, Tegel, W, Treydte, K, Verstege, A, Wacker, L and Büntgen, U (2018) 'New tree-ring evidence for the Late Glacial period from the northern pre-Alps in eastern Switzerland.' Quaternary Science Reviews, 186. pp. 215-224. ISSN 0277-3791

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.02.019

Abstract

The rate and magnitude of temperature variability at the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum into the early Holocene represents a natural analog to current and predicted climate change. A limited number of high-resolution proxy archives, however, challenges our understanding of environmental conditions during this period. Here, we present combined dendrochronological and radiocarbon evidence from 253 newly discovered subfossil pine stumps from Zurich, Switzerland. The individual trees reveal ages of 41–506 years and were growing between the Allerød and Preboreal (∼13′900–11′300 cal BP). Together with previously collected pines from this region, this world's best preserved Late Glacial forest substantially improves the earliest part of the absolutely dated European tree-ring width chronology between 11′300 and 11′900 cal BP. Radiocarbon measurements from 65 Zurich pines between ∼12′320 and 13′950 cal BP provide a perspective to prolong the continuous European tree-ring record by another ∼2000 years into the Late Glacial era. These data will also be relevant for pinpointing the Laacher See volcanic eruption (∼12′900 cal BP) and two major Alpine earthquakes (∼13′770 and ∼11′600 cal BP). In summary, this study emphasizes the importance of dating precision and multi-proxy comparison to disentangle environmental signals from methodological noise, particularly during periods of high climate variability but low data availability, such as the Younger Dryas cold spell (∼11′700 and 12′900 cal BP).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: central Europe, dendrochronology, Late Glacial, paleoclimatology, radiocarbon, subfossil wood, Switzerland, tree rings, Younger Dryas
Divisions: School of Science
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 17:27
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2020 18:06
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