Collaborative Research: Assessing the Antarctic Contribution to Sea-level Changes during the Last Deglaciation: Constraints from Darwin Glacier
This award supports a project to reconstruct past ice-surface elevations from detailed glacial mapping and dating of moraines (using 14C dates of algae from former ice-marginal ponds and 10Be surface exposure ages) in the region of the Darwin-Hatherton Glaciers in Antarctica in order to try and resolve very different interpretations that currently exist about the glacial history in the region. The results will be integrated with existing climate and geophysical data into a flow-line model to gain insight into glacier response to climate and ice-dynamics perturbations during the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Antarctica. The work will contribute to a better understanding of both LGM ice thickness and whether or not there is any evidence that Antarctica contributed to Meltwater Pulse (MWP)-1A a very controversial topic in Antarctic glacial geology. The intellectual merit of the work relates to the fact that reconstructing past fluctuations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) is critical for understanding the sensitivity of ice volume to sea-level and climatic change. Constraints on past behavior help put ongoing changes into context and provide a basis for predicting future sea-level rise. Broader impacts include the support of two graduate and two undergraduate students, as well as a female early-career investigator. Graduate students will be involved in all stages of the project from planning and field mapping to geochronological analyses, interpretation, synthesis and reporting. Two undergraduates will work on lab-based research from the project. The project also will include visits to K-12 classrooms to talk about glaciers and climate change, correspondence with teachers and students from the field, and web-based outreach. This award has field work in Antarctica.
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