The Santorini Caldera is what's left behind from the Thera eruption
[Credit: Steve Jurvetson]
Pearson, a University of Arizona assistant professor of dendrochronology and anthropology, is lead author of a paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which she and her colleagues have used a new hybrid approach to assign calendar dates to a sequence of tree rings, which spans the period during which Thera erupted, to within one year of a calendar date. This allows them to present new evidence that could support an eruption date around 1560 B.C.
Filling the Gaps
"In every tree ring, you have this time capsule that you can unpack," Pearson said.
Trees grow in accordance with the conditions of their local environment. Each year, trees produce a new layer of concentric growth, called a tree ring, which can record information about rainfall, temperature, wildfires, soil conditions and more. Trees can even record solar activity as it waxes and wanes.
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