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Tree ring D/H ratio from Kenya, East Africa and its palaeoclimatic significance

Krishnamurthy, R. V. and Epstein, S. (1985) Tree ring D/H ratio from Kenya, East Africa and its palaeoclimatic significance. Nature, 317 (6033). pp. 160-162. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/317160a0.

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The D/H ratio of non-exchangeable hydrogen atoms in tree rings is a reliable record of the stable isotope ratio of source water used by a given tree during its growth. Depending on the site of growth, this source water has been shown to be the summer rains or groundwater or both. Because the isotope ratio of any of these source waters is influenced by climate, tree ring isotope data provide a fine climatic signature in most cases. However, isotope dendroclimate studies so far have been focused mainly in North America and to a lesser degree in Europe. We report here analysis of a record spanning 145 yr from a tree, Juniperus procera, from Kenya in East Africa. The D/H ratio correlates reasonably well with the recorded levels of the adjacent Lake Victoria and brings out interesting palaeoclimatic inferences from a region for which very little such data are available. Significantly, the relatively severe arid conditions around 1920s and the record rainfall around 1961 are reflected in the tree ring isotope ratio. This suggests that such tree ring isotope records could be used in the palaeoclimatic reconstruction of this area and could be applied to tropical environments.

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Additional Information:© 1985 Nature Publishing Group. Received 10 April; accepted 4 July, 1985. This research was supported by grant NSF ATM 80/8830 which is gratefully acknowledged. This work was made possible by T. E. Cerling who provided the samples. We also thank Joseph Ruth and Eleanor Dent for technical assistance. Contribution no. 4024 publications of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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NSFATM 80/8830
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4024
Issue or Number:6033
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140311-113010839
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Official Citation:Tree ring D/H ratio from Kenya, East Africa and its palaeoclimatic significance 160=162 R. V. Krishnamurthy & S. Epstein doi:10.1038/317160a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44247
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:11 Mar 2014 21:44
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:49

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