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Collaborative Research: Petermann Gletscher, Greenland - Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology

General

Project start
01.01.2014
Project end
31.12.2017
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Ocean & fiord systems
Project topic
Geology
Oceanography

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Arctic Oceans and various regions
Fieldwork region
Arctic (entire region)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 82.47899627686, -48.97499847412

Fieldwork start
01.01.2015
Fieldwork end
31.12.2015

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 67.0179977417, -50.69400024414

Fieldwork start
01.01.2015
Fieldwork end
31.12.2015

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland Ice Sheet
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 80.89099884033, -60.76399993896

Fieldwork start
01.01.2015
Fieldwork end
31.12.2015

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, North-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 76.53199768066, -68.70300292969

Fieldwork start
01.01.2015
Fieldwork end
31.12.2015

SAR information

Project details

09.12.2018
Science / project plan

.

Science / project summary
This project will take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the response of Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland to climate change in the past. Petermann Glacier drains a significant fraction of the northern Greenland ice sheet and terminates in a large floating ice shelf that is sensitive to ice-ocean interactions. Ice retreat over the last decade opens access to the fjord and presents an opportunity to understand sedimentation processes under the area previously covered by ice shelf and to calibrate reconstructions of past ice shelf variations. Using a variety of technologies and approaches on land, ice, and at sea, the investigators will map the bottom of the fjord in front of and under the ice shelf; reconstruct ocean conditions and their role in ice shelf variations through time; reconstruct the past extent of the glacier on land and the floating ice shelf; and reconstruct local relative sea level. Together these efforts will create a comprehensive picture of the climate conditions and response of the Petermann Glacier to these conditions over the last 10,000 years. Of key interest will be the timing, extent, rates of change, and variability (on land and in the sea) during the early Holocene when local relative sea level was over 100 meters higher than today (due to lagging isostatic rebound of the crust in response to deglaciation), but the inland ice sheet was still large relative to today. The investigators will address dynamic responses to multiple interacting variables over a range of response times (from tens to thousands of years) relevant to potential future impacts. Specific research questions include: 1) How sensitive is Petermann ice shelf extent to documented climate changes within the Holocene? 2) Is shelf response independent of, or linked to, variations in the grounded Petermann Glacier, ocean thermal conditions, or relative sea level (i.e., sill depth)? 3) What are the rates of change and variability of these systems in response to early Holocene warming, Neoglacial cooling, and recent warming? The project will support several young investigators and will provide them with both ship and land-based training experiences. The project includes significant international collaborations, with substantial in-kind contributions from non-U.S. sources that add value to the project. Planned outreach includes teacher participation in the field program and meaningful classroom involvement at several levels.
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