Patterns and sources of multidecadal oscillations in drought-sensitive tree-ring records from the central and southern Rocky Mountains
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2003
Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 30, Issue 6, March 2003
How to Cite
2003), Patterns and sources of multidecadal oscillations in drought-sensitive tree-ring records from the central and southern Rocky Mountains, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1316, doi:10.1029/2002GL016154, 6., , , and (
- Issue published online: 26 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 JAN 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 12 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Received: 22 AUG 2002
- multi decadal variability;
- Pacific Decadal Oscillation;
- Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
 Tree-ring records spanning the past seven centuries from the central and southern Rocky Mountains were studied using wavelet analysis to examine multidecadal (>30–70 yr) patterns of drought variation. Fifteen tree-ring series were grouped into five regional composite chronologies based on shared low-frequency behavior. Strong multidecadal phasing of moisture variation was present in all regions during the late 16th century megadrought. Oscillatory modes in the 30–70 yr domain persisted until the mid-19th century in two regions, and wet-dry cycles were apparently synchronous at some sites until the 1950s drought. The 16th/17th century pattern of severe multidecadal drought followed by decades of wet conditions resembles the 1950s drought and post-1976 wet period. The 16th century megadrought, which may have resulted from coupling of a decadal (∼20–30 yr) Pacific cool phase with a multidecadal warm phase in the North Atlantic, marked a substantial reorganization of climate in the Rocky Mountain region.