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Dendrochronological study of the Canal del Roc Roig avalanche path: first results of the Aludex project in the Pyrenees

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Historical data about ancient avalanches are scarce in the Pyrenees. Dendrochronology can provide new data about past avalanches and their return period, but up to now little research has been carried out with this purpose. The Aludex project aims to obtain information about the frequency and extent of extreme avalanches, using a dendrochronological and a nivo-meteorological approach. In this paper, we present the results of a dendrochronological study of the Canal del Roc Roig avalanche path which was affected by two extreme avalanches in February 1996. This first dendrochronological study has permitted us to assess the tree-ring signals due to avalanche events in 53 out of 132 dated trees. The trees presented a variety of responses to the 1996 avalanche events. It is shown that the type of tree-ring signal depends on tree age. The methodology has proved successful in detecting the 1996 and 1972 documented avalanche events, and provided outstanding evidence of undocumented past events such as one in 1930.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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