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Fossil forest reveals sunspot activity in the Early Permian

Ludwig Luthardt and Ronny Roessler
Fossil forest reveals sunspot activity in the Early Permian
Geology (Boulder) (January 2017) 45 (3): 279-282


Modern-day periodic climate pattern variations related to solar activity are well known. High-resolution records such as varves, ice cores, and tree-ring sequences are commonly used for reconstructing climatic variations in the younger geological history. For the first time we apply dendrochronological methods to Paleozoic trees in order to recognize annual variations. Large woody tree trunks from the early Permian Fossil Forest of Chemnitz, southeast Germany, show a regular cyclicity in tree-ring formation. The mean ring curve reveals a 10.62 yr cyclicity, the duration of which is almost identical to the modern 11 yr solar cycle. Therefore, we speculate and further discuss that, like today, sunspot activity caused fluctuations of cosmic radiation input to the atmosphere, affecting cloud formation and annual rates of precipitation, which are reflected in the tree-ring archive. This is the earliest record of sunspot cyclicity and simultaneously demonstrates its long-term stable periodicity for at least 300 m.y.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Fossil forest reveals sunspot activity in the Early Permian
Affiliation: Museum fuer Naturkunde Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany
Pages: 279-282
Published: 20170112
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 2017-012095
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2017073
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N50°51'59" - N50°51'59", E13°57'33" - E13°57'33"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201709
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