Evaluating Crossdating Accuracy: A Manual and Tutorial for the Computer Program COFECHA
AuthorGrissino-Mayer, Henri D.
AffiliationDepartment of Geography, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
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RightsCopyright © Tree-Ring Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item is part of the Tree-Ring Research (formerly Tree-Ring Bulletin) archive. It was digitized from a physical copy provided by the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at The University of Arizona. For more information about this peer-reviewed scholarly journal, please email the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CitationGrissino-Mayer, H.D. 2001. Evaluating crossdating accuracy: A manual and tutorial for the computer program COFECHA. Tree-Ring Research 57(2):205-221.
AbstractCOFECHA is a computer program that assesses the quality of crossdating and measurement accuracy of tree-ring series. Written by Richard L. Holmes in 1982, the program has evolved into one of the most important and widely used in dendrochronology. It is important to note that COFECHA does not perform all the necessary steps in crossdating. Rather, the program is a tool that helps the dendrochronologist assess the quality of crossdating and measurement accuracy. The ultimate decision whether or not a tree-ring series is successfully crossdated must lie with the dendrochronologist and not with the software. Therefore, the program is most useful after initial crossdating is accomplished using visual or graphical techniques (such as skeleton plots), and the rings have been measured. The proper use of COFECHA adds a high degree of confidence that tree-ring samples have been crossdated correctly and measured accurately, ensuring that the environmental signal is maximized. In this paper, I describe the use of COFECHA through all necessary steps, and discuss the meaning of the initial questions posed at program start-up, the various options available in the main menu, the various sections of the output from COFECHA, and interpretation of the diagnostics of crossdating and measurement accuracy. I demonstrate methods used to help crossdate undated series, and offer tips on taking full advantage of the various options available in the program.