© 2010

Tree Rings and Natural Hazards

A State-of-Art

  • Markus Stoffel
  • Michelle Bollschweiler
  • David R. Butler
  • Brian H. Luckman

Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 41)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Tree Rings and Natural Hazards – An Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Markus Stoffel, Michelle Bollschweiler, David R. Butler, Brian H. Luckman
      Pages 3-23
  3. Snow Avalanches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 26-26
    2. David R. Butler, Carol F. Sawyer, Jacob A. Maas
      Pages 35-46
    3. Elena Muntán, Pere Oller, Emilia Gutiérrez
      Pages 47-50
    4. Alejandro Casteller, Marc Christen, Ricardo Villalba, Veronika Stöckli
      Pages 75-78
  4. Landslides

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 80-80
    2. John J. Clague
      Pages 81-89
    3. Rosanna Fantucci, Marino Sorriso-Valvo
      Pages 91-101
    4. Leonardo Paolini, Ricardo Villalba
      Pages 121-125
  5. Rockfall

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 128-128
    2. Fausto Guzzetti, Paola Reichenbach
      Pages 129-137
    3. Markus Stoffel, Dominique M. Schneuwly, Michelle Bollschweiler
      Pages 139-155
    4. José Moya, Jordi Corominas, José Pérez Arcas
      Pages 161-175

About this book


The initial employment of tree rings in natural hazard studies was simply as a dating tool and rarely exploited other environmental information and records of damage contained within the tree. However, these unique, annually resolved, tree-ring records preserve valuable archives of past earth-surface processes on timescales of decades to centuries. As many of these processes are significant natural hazards, understanding their distribution, timing and controls provides valuable information that can assist in the prediction, mitigation and defence against these hazards and their effects on society.

Tree Rings and Natural Hazards provides many illustrations of these themes, demonstrating the application of tree rings to studies of snow avalanches, rockfalls, landslides, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and several other processes. Several of the chapters are "classic studies", others represent recent applications using previously unpublished material. They illustrate the breadth and diverse applications of contemporary dendrogeomorphology and underline the growing potential to expand such studies, possibly leading to the establishment of a range of techniques and approaches that may become standard practice in the analysis of natural hazards in the future.


Climate change Dendrogeomorphology Earthquake Geochronology Natural hazard Tree ring geomorphology

Editors and affiliations

  • Markus Stoffel
    • 1
  • Michelle Bollschweiler
    • 2
  • David R. Butler
    • 3
  • Brian H. Luckman
    • 4
  1. 1.Inst. Geologie, Labor für DendrogeomorphologieUniversität BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Inst. Geologie, Labor für DendrogeomorphologieUniversität BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Dept. GeographyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.Dept. GeographyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews:

“The four editors, from the US, Canada, and Switzerland, all contribute their research to this volume, along with some 80 other investigators. The papers examine how trees record geological events, accurately dated by the evidence left in annual rings, and the inferences that may be drawn from these long records. … Most analyses are highly detailed and specific, so this material will primarily interest advanced students and scientists conducting geological hazard research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and researchers.” (M. K. Cleaveland, Choice, Vol. 48 (5), January, 2011)

“Tree Rings and Natural Hazards provides a needed and useful survey of a rapidly expanding area of research: using dendrochronology to study geomorphic hazards, including snow avalanches, landslides, rockfall, debris flows, flooding, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. … Any tree-ring scientist … would profit from reading this book, as would other geoscientists and specialists in natural hazards.” (Jeff Lukas, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 43 (1), February, 2011)