Earth Institute Research Projects

Quantifying Subglacial Erosion Rates and Exploring Pro-glacial Bedrock as Climate Archive by in-situ Cosmogenic ^14C-610Be Techniques

Lead PI: Dr. Joerg Michael Schaefer

Unit Affiliation: Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

October 2009 - September 2013
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The team will use 10Be and 14C dating to measure transects of cosmogenic nuclide concentrations from newly exposed bedrock to explore its potential as a climate archive. This will help determine if glaciers were smaller than today during the Holocene, if so for how long, and if there is an inter-hemispheric pattern to these warm periods.

OUTCOMES: Evidence of low cosmogenic nuclides suggests that New Zealand's glaciers were never as small as now during the Holocene, while glaciers in the Alps were smaller than today in the early Holocene when insolation was higher. Five journal publications and one website.


National Science Foundation (NSF)





Goehring, B.M.; Schaefer, J.M.; Lifton, N.; Jull, A.J.T.; . "Progress and Initial Results fromthe Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in situ Carbon-14 Extraction Laboratory," AMS 11 Conference, Rome, v.Septemb, 2008.

Goehring, B.M.; Schaefer, J.M.; Schluechter, C.; Lifton, N.A.; Finkel, R.C.; Jull, A.J.T.; Alley, R.B.; . "Deciphering the Holocene Duration of a Small Rhone Glacier, Switzerland, using in situ 10Be and 14C," ], v.90, 2009.

Goehring, B.; Schaefer, J. M.; . "Invited Talk - A new method to estimate glacial erosion rates using in situ 14C and 10Be: an example from the Rhone glacier," National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) Workshop on Glacial Erosion Modelling, v.29 Apri, 2010.

Goehring, B.; Schaefer, J. M.; Schluechter, C.; Lifton, N.A.; Finkel, R.C.; Jull, T.A.; Alley, R.B.; . "The Rhone Glacier was smaller than today for most of the Holocene," Geology, v.39, 2011. doi: 679

Goehring, Brent M.; Vacco, David A.; Alley, Richard B.; Schaefer, Joerg M.; . "Holocene dynamics of the Rhone Glacier, Switzerland, deduced from ice flow models and cosmogenic nuclides," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v.3513, 2012, p. 27-35.


beryllium 14c dating paleoclimate glaciers carbon climate change ocean and climate physics 10be dating