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Interrogating Trees as Archives of Environmental Sulphur Variability Project: Historical Sulphur Concentrations and Isotopic Values in tree rings (1840-2012)

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2015-12-16
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2015-12-16
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 3 Files | 1MB


This dataset contains sulphur concentrations and isotopic values found in tree rings.

Samples were collected from several sites in Italy and in the UK.

In Italy, samples were collected within a 4km radius of the Ernesto Cave (NE Italian Alps) using 5 and 12 mm diameter increment borers. Standard dendroecological procedures were used to produce absolutely dated records and mean ring-width chronologies. Thirty individual trees were used to build a master chronology for sample cores collected from Abies alba (type of fir tree)). Of the collected cores, two trees (Abies 1, cambial age 160; and Abies 2, cambial age 90) underwent preliminary investigation for sulphur concentration and intra-cellular speciation as a background to developing a method for extracting sulphur isotopes from the same samples. In sampling the trees, no oils, polish wax or lubricant was used to reduce potential contamination from sulphurcontaining compounds.

Wood powders were extracted by carefully drilling 5-year blocks of dated rings to yield a well-mixed, representative sample of approximately 40 mg for sulphur isotope analysis. On a sub-section of the conifer samples, a cold resin extraction was conducted using a 9:1 high purity (Aristar grade) acetone:water mixture for 48 h, followed by multiple washes with hot and cold deionised water to remove the potentially mobile resinous component and any surface bound mobile (soluble) sulphur.

Samples were also collected in the UK from Beech, Oak, Sycamore and Ash trees at sites near Lancaster, Manchester and Grizedale. Then all samples were analysed by continuous-flow-isotope-ratio mass spectrometry using an Isoprime 100 mass spectrometer linked to an Elementar Pyrocube analyser at the University of Lancaster, Lancaster Environment Centre.

The results are presented in this dataset.

Citable as:  Wynn, P. (2015): Interrogating Trees as Archives of Environmental Sulphur Variability Project: Historical Sulphur Concentrations and Isotopic Values in tree rings (1840-2012). Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, date of citation.
Abbreviation: rm2010-sulphur-tree-rings-data
Keywords: NERC, sulphur, tree rings, dendrochemistry


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Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data provided by P. Wynn in December 2015.

File Format:
Data are BADC CSV formatted

Related Documents

 P.Wynn et. al, 2014

Process overview

This dataset was generated by instruments deployed on platforms as listed below.

Instrument/Platform pairings

Elementar Pyrocube analyser Deployed on: Lancaster Environment Centre
Output Description


  • long_name: Isotopes
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Cryosphere > Sea Ice > Isotopes
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Cryosphere > Sea Ice > Isotopes,
  • long_name: sulphur concentration ppm
  • names: sulphur concentration ppm
  • long_name: sulphur isotopic value per mille
  • names: sulphur isotopic value per mille
  • long_name: tree identifier
  • names: tree identifier
  • long_name: year range
  • names: year range

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent

Related parties
Authors (1)
Principal Investigators (1)