Dendrochronological methods for reconstructing mass movements — An example of landslide activity analysis using tree-ring eccentricity
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Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200, Sosnowiec, Poland
Online publication date: 2012-06-19
Publication date: 2012-09-01
Geochronometria 2012;39(3):180-196
Dendrochronological methods can be applied to the reconstruction of different types of environmental events such as climate changes, fires, glacier movements, floods, earthquakes, volcano activity. In the field of geomorphology dendrochronology is increasingly frequently used for the absolute dating of different types of mass-movements (rock falls, landslides and debris flows, etc.). Trees growing on slopes transformed by mass-movements are tilted and wounded while their stems and root systems are exposed or buried under sediment. These events are recorded in wood anatomy as eccentric growth, reaction wood, scar overgrowth by callous tissue, changes in cell size or adventitious root production. Dating changes in wood anatomy allows to date and precisely reconstruct the spatial and temporal occurrence of mass-movements with at least one year resolution. The paper provides a review of existing dendrochronological tools used in geomorphology and also an example of the application of eccentric tree-growth to reconstruct landsliding. Using tree-ring eccentricity allows to (1) obtain a dynamic depiction of slopes, (2) study landslide activity, not only contemporary, but also in the last tens of hundreds of years (depending on the stand age).
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