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Earth Institute Research Projects

Benchmarking Spatial Patterns of Glacier Change

Lead PI: Dr. Joerg Michael Schaefer , Nicolas E. Young Jason Briner

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

June 2019 - May 2022
Active
Arctic ; North America ; Alaska
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This research will investigate global patterns of past glacier advance and retreat to analyze regional patterns of environmental variability. During times of global glacier recession, glaciers in different parts of the world behaved differently. The rate of glacier retreat varied through time, and in some cases, glacier retreat was interrupted by short intervals of glacier growth. These differential spatial patterns can help scientists predict future patterns of regional response to global environmental variability. In this project, using various earth science techniques, investigators will analyze glacial landforms in Alaska to affirm regional differences in rates of past glacier change. Alaska is a region where past glacier change is less well understood than other parts of the world, but one where regional glacier change was different from global patterns. Findings will contribute to an improved understanding of past regional environmental variability and thereby be an important data source for future modelling. The project's broader impacts include the career advancement of a scientist from an underrepresented group and includes the training of graduate and undergraduate students. Dissemination will include academic publications and public-oriented materials disseminated via national parks and native communities in Alaska.