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Dean Dumaresq


Office: SN-2005
Telephone: (709)-864-8998
Fax: (709) 864- 3119


Drs. Colin Laroque and Trevor Bell

Thesis title

Dendrochronology in Eastern Labrador

Research description

My research is based on the science of dendrochronology; the study of tree rings over time. Simply put, by measuring the width between the annual rings of a tree you can establish the amount of growth in a given year. The growth is directly related to the environmental conditions the tree was subjected to throughout that year. Thus dominant physiological processes such as climate can be shown to be directly correlated to the size of each ring.

With global climate change becoming such a universally accepted issue the need for understanding past climate systems on a broader scale is becoming more and more crucial. By sampling spruce, fir and larch in a southern costal Labrador grid, I will establish radial growth chronologies for trees of this region. These radial growth patterns will then be linked to climate parameters over the historical period, and in so, I will be able to develop proxy climate data over the established grid. In order to more fully understand the effects of climate changes present within the grid, I hope to correlate these proxy data to such things as ocean surface temperatures across the North Atlantic.

In conjunction with the Mount Allison Dendrochronology Lab (MAD Lab) the results can then be compared to similar research conducted in adjacent regions and around Atlantic Canada. This will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the effects between radial-growth and past climates on costal areas of Labrador.

Figure 1: Sampling of a tree for dendrochronology