Advertisement

Tree Rings as Paleoflood and Paleostage Indicators

  • Scott St. George
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 41)

Abstract

Each year, floods cause enormous damage to property and kill thousands of people around the world. During the 1990s alone, freshwater flooding affected more than 1.4 billion people and caused about 100,000 deaths (Jonkman 2005). Worldwide, insured losses due to floods topped US$2 billion in 2008 (SwissRe 2009), making them the second-most expensive type of natural catastrophe (exceeded only by damages caused by tropical storms). In addition to the threats they pose to human communities, major floods are also important geological and biogeochemical agents that influence rates of erosion and sediment transport (Molnar 2001), redistribute organic matter and nutrients to downstream reaches (Velasco et al. 2006) and homogenize ecological processes and biological communities within floodplain systems (Thomaz et al. 2007).

Keywords

Flood Risk Tree Ring Compression Wood Resin Canal Earlywood Vessel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Astrade L, Bégin Y (1997) Tree-ring response of Populus tremula L. and Quercus robur L. to recent spring floods of the Saône River, France. Ecoscience 4:232–239Google Scholar
  2. Baker VR (1987) Paleoflood hydrology and extraordinary flood events. J Hydrol 96:79–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker VR, Webb RH, House PK (2002) The scientific and societal value of paleoflood hydrology, p 1–19. In: House PK, Levish DR, Webb RH, Baker VR (eds) Paleoflood hydrology. Am Geophys Union Monogr, Washington, p 385Google Scholar
  4. Baker V (2006) Palaeoflood hydrology in a global context. Catena 66:161–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bégin Y, Sirois L, Meunier C (2010) The effects of hydroelectric flooding on a reservoir’s peripheral forests and newly created forested islands. In: Stoffel M, Bollschweiler M, Butler DR, Luckman BH (eds) Tree rings and natural hazards: A state-of-the-art. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, this volumeGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernard V (2003) North-western French Neolithic dendrochronology: prospects for a 2000 year oak chronology. Measure Sci Tech 14:1510–1515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown SL, Bierman PR, Lini A, Southon J (2000) 10,000 Year record of extreme hydrologic events. Geology 28:335–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown AG, Cooper L, Salisbury CR, Smith DN (2001) Late Holocene channel changes of the Middle Trent: channel response to a thousand-year flood record. Geomorphology 39:69–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Enzel Y, Ely LL, House PK, Baker V (1996) Magnitude and frequency of Holocene palaeofloods in the southwestern United States: A review and discussion of implications, pp 121–137. In: Branson J, Brown AG, Gregory KJ (eds) Global continental changes: the context of palaeohydrology, p 272. Geological Society Special Publication, Alden Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Gottesfeld AS, Gottesfeld LMJ (1990) Flood-plain dynamics of a wandering river, dendrochronology of the Morice River, British Columbia, Canada. Geomorphology 3:159–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harrison SS, Reid JR (1967) A flood-frequency graph based on tree-scar data. Proc North Dakota Acad Sci 21:23–33Google Scholar
  12. Jonkman SN (2005) Global perspectives on loss of human life caused by floods. Nat Haz 34:151–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Klemeš V (1989) The improbable probabilities of extreme floods and droughts, p 43–51. In: Starosolszky O, Melder OM (eds) Hydrology of disasters. James & James, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Knox JC (2000) Sensitivity of modern and Holocene floods to climate change. Quat Sci Rev 19:439–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McCord VA (1996) Fluvial process dendrogeomorphology: Reconstructions of flood events from the southwestern United States using flood-scarred trees. In: Dean JS, Meko DM, Swetnam TW (eds) Tree rings, environment and humanity. University of Arizona, Tucson, pp 689–699Google Scholar
  16. Molnar P (2001) Climate change, flooding in arid environments, and erosion rates. Geology 29:1071–1074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pickup G, Marks A, Bourke M (2002) Paleoflood reconstruction on flood-plains using geophysical survey data and hydraulic modeling. In: House PK, Levish DR, Webb RH, Baker VR (eds) Paleoflood hydrology. American Geophysical Union Monograph, Washington, DC, p 47–60Google Scholar
  18. St. George S, Neilson E (2000) Signatures of high-magnitude 19th century floods in Quercus macrocarpa tree rings along the Red River, Manitoba, Canada. Geology 28:899–902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. St. George S (2010) Dendrohydrology and extreme floods along the Red River, Canada. In: Stoffel M, Bollschweiler M, Butler DR, Luckman BH (eds) Tree rings and natural hazards: A state-of-the-art. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, this volumeGoogle Scholar
  20. Sigafoos RS (1964) Botanical evidence of floods and flood-plain deposition. US Geol Surv Prof Paper 485A, p 35Google Scholar
  21. SwissRe (2009) Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2008. Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Economic Research & Consulting, Zurich, Switzerland, p 43Google Scholar
  22. Tardif JC, Bergeron Y (1997) Ice-flood history reconstructed with tree rings from the southern boreal forest limit, western Québec. Holocene 3:291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tardif JC, Kames S, Bergeron Y (2010) Spring water levels reconstructed from ice-scarred trees and cross-sectional area of the earlywood vessels in tree-rings from eastern boreal Canada. In: Stoffel M, Bollschweiler M, Butler DR, Luckman BH (eds) Tree rings and natural hazards: A state-of-the-art. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, this volumeGoogle Scholar
  24. Thomaz SM, Bini LM, Bozelli RL (2007) Floods increase similarity among aquatic habitats in river-floodplain systems. Hydrobiologia 579:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tremblay J, Bégin Y (2005) The effects of snow-packing on tree growth forms on an island in a recently created reservoir in northern Québec, Canada. Ecoscience 12:530–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Velasco JM, Lioret J, Millan A, Marin A, Barahona J, Abellan P, Sanchez-Fernandez D (2006) Nutrient and particulate inputs into the Mar Menon Lagoon (SE Spain) from an intensive agricultural watershed. Wat Air Soil Pollut 176:37–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yanosky TM (1983) Evidence of floods on the Potomac River from anatomical abnormalities in the wood of flood-plain trees. US Geol Surv Prof Paper 1296, p 42Google Scholar
  28. Yanosky TM, Jarrett RD (2002) Dendrochronologic evidence for the frequency and magnitude of paleofloods. In: House PK, Levish DR, Webb RH, Baker VR (eds) Paleoflood hydrology. American Geophysical Union Monograph, Washington, DC, p 77–89Google Scholar
  29. Zielonka T, Holeksa J, Ciapała S (2010) A 100-year history of floods determined from tree rings in a small mountain stream in the Tatra Mountains, Poland. In: Stoffel M, Bollschweiler M, Butler DR, Luckman BH (eds) Tree rings and natural hazards: A state-of-the-art. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, this volumeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of CanadaOttawaCanadaand

Personalised recommendations