, Volume 26, Issue 2-3, pp 295-303
Date: 03 Dec 2005

Tree-ring-based hydrological records for western Himalaya, India, since a.d. 1560

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Abstract

We analysed 565 increment cores from 325 Himalayan cedar [Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don] trees growing at 13 moisture-stressed, widely distributed sites in the western Himalayan region. We found a strong positive relationship between our tree-ring width chronologies and spring precipitation which enabled us to reconstruct precipitation back to a.d. 1560. This reconstruction is so far the longest in this region. The calibration model explains 40% variance in the instrumental data (1953–1997). The most striking feature of the reconstruction is the unprecedented increase in precipitation during the late twentieth century relative to the past 438 years. Both wet and dry springs occurred during the Little Ice Age. A 10-year running mean showed that the driest period occurred in the seventeenth century while the wettest period occurred in the twentieth century. Spectral analysis of the reconstructed series indicated a dominant 2-year periodicity.