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Decadal Drought and Wetness Reconstructed for Subtropical North America in the Mexican Drought Atlas

Author(s): Dorian Burnette ; David Stahle ; Edward Cook ; Jose Villanueva ; Daniel Griffin ; Benjamin Cook

Year: 2016

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A new drought atlas has been developed for subtropical North America, including the entire Republic of Mexico.  This Mexican Drought Atlas (MXDA) is based on 251 tree-ring chronologies, including 82 from Mexico and another 169 from the southern U.S. and western Guatemala.  The new reconstructions of the Palmer Drought Severity Index for June-August provide a more detailed estimation of decadal moisture regimes since AD 1400.  Droughts previously identified in a subset of chronologies are confirmed and their spatial impact quantified in the new reconstructions (e.g., the mid-15th Century drought described in Aztec legend and the 16th Century megadrought).  The MXDA will be served on the web with analytical tools allowing interdisciplinary groups of researchers to use the new reconstructions.  Tree-ring reconstructed drought atlases such as the MXDA can help archaeologists place their research into a broader climatic context, and potentially provide new insights into past people and their environments.

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Decadal Drought and Wetness Reconstructed for Subtropical North America in the Mexican Drought Atlas. Dorian Burnette, David Stahle, Edward Cook, Jose Villanueva, Daniel Griffin, Benjamin Cook. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434440)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 554

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America