Standardized precipitation index reconstructed from Turkish tree-ring widths

Ramzi Touchan, Gary Funkhouser, Malcolm K. Hughes, Nesat Erkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


May-July Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) for the land area of most of Turkey and some adjoining regions are reconstructed from tree rings for the period 1251-1998. The reconstruction was developed from principal components analysis (PCA) of four Juniperus excelsa chronologies from southwestern and south-central Turkey and is based on reliable and replicable statistical relationships between climate and tree ring growth. The SPI reconstruction shows climate variability on both interannual and interdecadal time scales. The longest period of consecutive drought years in the reconstruction (SPI threshold ≤-1) is 2 yr. These occur in 1607-1608, 1675-1676, and 1907-1908. There are five wet events (SPI threshold ≥+1) of two consecutive years each (1330-1331, 1428-1429, 1503-1504, 1629-1630, and 1913-1914). A 5-yr moving average of the reconstructed SPI shows that two sustained drought periods occurred from the mid to late 1300s and the early to mid 1900s. Both episodes are characterized by low variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-353
Number of pages15
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science


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