A test of "Annual resolution" in stalagmites using tree rings

Julio L. Betancourt, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Matthew W. Salzer, Thomas W. Swetnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


So-called annual banding has been identified in a number of speleothems in which the number of bands approximates the time interval between successive U-series dates. The apparent annual resolution of speleothem records, however, remains largely untested. Here we statistically compare variations in band thickness from a late Holocene stalagmite in Carlsbad Cavern, Southern New Mexico, USA, with three independent tree-ring chronologies form the same region. We found no correspondence. Although there may be various explanations for the discordance, this limited exercise suggests that banded stalagmites should be held to the same rigorous standards in chronology building and climatic inference as annually resolved tree rings, corals, and ice cores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-199
Number of pages3
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Annual resolution
  • Paleoclimate
  • Speleothems
  • Tree-ring chronologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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