Dating of many types of young (<500 year), dynamic, geomorphic landforms (e.g. mass-movement erosional tracks and deposits, alluvial terraces, flood plains, etc.) for purposes of hazard assessment and mitigation commonly requires greater dating precision than is available through radiocarbon dating or other methods. Ages of trees growing on landform surfaces have been used in a number of studies to estimate the time of landform creation or surface clearing, but the time lag between surface formation or disturbance and the reestablishment of trees can vary from 1 to more than 200 years (Desloges and Ryder 1990; Frenzen et al. 1988, 2005; Larsen and Bliss 1998; McCarthy and Luckman 1993; Sigafoos and Hendricks 1969; Winter et al. 2002). Appropriate lag times for selected tree species and for particular climatic and altitudinal ranges must be determined for the method to be useful.
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Using age of colonizing douglas-fir for the dating of young geomorphic surfaces: a case study