High-Precision Dating of Debris-Flow Events Within the Growing Season

  • Ryszard J. KaczkaEmail author
  • Anne Deslauriers
  • Hubert Morin
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 41)


We established and tested a new method of precise debris-flow dating using an existing model of wood formation (Deslauriers et al. 2003). The study was based on the hypothesis that scars and other wood anomalies record the stage of tree-ring development at the moment when a high-energetic impact kills the cambium, stopping further cell production. We also assumed that tangential rows of traumatic resin ducts and wood density fluctuations within the growth ring could develop soon after injury. Debris-flow sampling was carried out at four different sites located in three valleys of the Monts-Valin, north of the Saguenay River (48°40¢–49°00¢ N, 70°00’–71°15¢ E), Québec (Canada). Fifty balsam fir (Abies balsamea) trees with scars dating back to 1996 were selected from a collection of 240 discs representing 12 debris-flows sites (Kaczka and Morin 2006). Major debris-flow events were recorded in the Saguenay region in 1996 as a result of severe rainstorms lasting from July 18–21 (199–202 Julian days). That known event was used to estimate the synchronism of three different proxies used in dendrogeomorphology to date debris-flow incidences, namely: (i) scars, (ii) tangential rows of traumatic resin ducts and (iii) density fluctuations.


Debris Flow Tree Ring Growth Ring Density Fluctuation Wood Formation 
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  1. Deslauriers A, Morin H, Bégin Y (2003) Cellular phenology of annual ring formation of Abies balsamea in the Québec boreal forest (Canada). Can J Forest Res 33:190–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kaczka RJ, Morin H (2006) The dendrochronological records of debris flow activity in SE Quebec. TRACE 5:233–239Google Scholar
  3. Stoffel M (2008) Dating past geomorphic processes with tangential rows of traumatic resin ducts. Dendrochronologia 26:53–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryszard J. Kaczka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Deslauriers
    • 2
  • Hubert Morin
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth Science, Department of Quaternary Paleogeography and PaleoecologyUniversity of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland
  2. 2.Laboratoire d¢Écologie VégétaleUniversité du Québec à ChicoutimiChicoutimiCanada

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