Lateglacial environmental variability from Swiss tree rings

Matthias Schaub, Ulf Büntgen, Klaus Felix Kaiser, Bernd Kromer, Sahra Talamo, Katrine Krogh Andersen, Sune Olander Rasmussen
Quaternary Science Reviews 27 (2008) 29-41

Evidence of annually resolved environmental variations during the Allerød interstadial is presented using 81 fossil Scots pine tree-ring series from Gaenziloo and Landikon, near Zurich, Switzerland. The absolute age of the trees ranges between 11,920 and 10,610 14C BP, which was determined by wiggle-matching radiocarbon ages to the Cariaco 14C data set. From the two sites we created a composite floating Allerød chronology on the basis of their 632 years of overlap (r=0.57), after individual spline detrending. Merging both data sets resulted in a Lateglacial tree-ring chronology covering 1050 years. Regional curve standardization (RCS) was applied to preserve low-frequency information. Growth behavior of the fossil trees was compared with a recent composite pine data set from the central Swiss Alps and reveals distinct differences. The new Allerød RCS chronology reveals major Lateglacial variations, such as the Gerzensee oscillation, the abrupt climate shift towards the Younger Dryas and some short-term events. Radiocarbon ages agree well with those from other sites on the Swiss Plateau. For hemispheric comparisons we used the annual layer thickness record from the NGRIP ice core and the gray-scale varve record from the Cariaco basin. Even though the amplitudes are not yet fully understood, similarities on decadalto- centennial scales are apparent.