• Augmenting Annual Runoff Records Using Tree-Ring Data

      Stockton, Charles W.; Fritts, Harold C.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Statistical analyses of existing hydrologic records suffer from the problem that such records are of relatively short duration, and therefore may not necessarily be random samples of the infinite population of events. On the hypothesis that tree-ring series and runoff series respond to a common climatic signal or signals that permit prediction of annual runoff from annual ring-width index, tree-ring data are used to extend available runoff records backwards in time to permit more accurate estimates of the 3 most common statistics used in hydrology: the mean, the variance and the 1st order correlation. It is assumed that both series are generated by the climatic parameters of precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration, seasonal regime and spatial distribution. Of major concern in the reconstruction of annual runoff series from tree-ring records was the difference in persistence within each of the 2 series. A matrix of the tree-ring data was constructed, lagged up to 3 times and principal components were extracted. The covariation in this matrix was then decomposed by extracting the Eigen-vectors, and multiple regression was then used to weight the respective series and the differences in persistence were determined. This method was applied to watersheds of diverse characteristics and improved estimates of the mean and variance were obtained.
    • Tree-Ring Dating of Colorado River Driftwood in the Grand Canyon

      Ferguson, C. W.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The development of tree-ring chronology for bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), stretching over 8,200 years, has been used to calibrate the radiocarbon time scale. An extensive deposit of driftwood in Stanton's cave in the grand canyon was estimated to have been deposited on the cave floor about 12,000 years ago on the basis of the 4,095-year radiocarbon age of a split-twig figurine on the surface of the cave floor. However, the initial driftwood specimen gave the surprising C-14 age of 35,000 years. A tree-ring dating study was therefore undertaken on driftwood in the grand canyon in order to: (1) evaluate the driftwood deposit in Stanton's cave; (2) provide a basis for interpreting c-14 dates from canyon archaeological sites; and (3) document a technique for deriving some concept of pre-dam hydrology, especially maximum high water levels. The percentage of dated specimens found indicated that the approach was feasible. A likely interpretation of the seemingly early c-14 dates at archaeological sites is that prehistoric man used old driftwood, as does modern man in the canyon. Tree-ring dates from wood above the pre-dam high water mark indicate that maximum 100-year flood evidence can be obtained.