2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 23
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


DRISCOLL, William W., Geology, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691 and WILES, Gregory C., Geology, The College of Wooster, 1189 Beall Ave, Wooster, OH 44691, wdriscoll@wooster.edu

Four white spruce (Picea glauca) tree-ring sites were collected near elevational treeline along a 60 km north-south transect in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The collections are well-replicated (more than 50 cores each) with three sites exceeding 300 years in age. Ring-width series and latewood density series will contribute to defining the climate variability of the western flank of the Chigmit Mountains on the Alaska Peninsula where the Alaska Range meet the Aleutians. This climatically transitional area between maritime and continental regimes includes the headwaters of some of the most productive salmon fisheries in Alaska. Dendroclimatic reconstructions of past temperatures can then be compared with other efforts to reconstruct past salmon populations from spawning lakes in the region to identify the role of climate variability on biological systems.

Ongoing analyses of the network include comparing the monthly climate records from King Salmon, 150 km to the south, with tree growth to identify the climate response of the trees. Preliminary results suggest that forests in the region continue to record warming, whereas other records from Alaska shows dramatic decreases in forest growth as new stresses (i.e., drying) associated with climate change impact growth. In addition to identifying climate variability over the last several hundred years along the western flank of the Chigmit Mountains, tree-ring series will be compared with other meteorological records (Homer, Kodiak) as well regional climatic indices to contribute to modeling North Pacific climate variability.