A 265-year reconstruction of Lake Erie water levels based on North Pacific tree rings
Article first published online: 6 MAR 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 5, March 2009
How to Cite
2009), A 265-year reconstruction of Lake Erie water levels based on North Pacific tree rings, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L05705, doi:10.1029/2009GL037164., , and (
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 6 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Received: 3 JAN 2009
- Lake Erie;
- tree rings;
- Pacific decadal variability
 A dendroclimatic reconstruction based on tree ring chronologies from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) explains 50% of the variance in annual Lake Erie levels. Temperature-sensitive ring-width series from the GOA are strongly and negatively correlated with annual lake levels, reflecting the Pacific North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern. Phases of the PNA are linked to variable circulation patterns that provide moisture to the Lake Erie basin, determining lake levels. The reconstruction extends back 265 years and shows that annual lake levels were high during the mid 1700s, the mid to late 1800s and the late 1900s. Relative low stands occurred during the late 1700s and early 1900s. The highest lake levels in the reconstruction are found over the past few decades, as seen in the observed record. Multidecadal-scale fluctuations in the Lake Erie reconstruction underscore the importance of Pacific Decadal Variability in determining levels in the Great Lakes.