Glacier dynamics in the Brooks Range, Alaska

Theme: Past Life & Environments

Primary Supervisor:

Bethan Davies

Department of Geography, RHUL

Bethan Davies's Profile Picture

Secondary Supervisor:

Varyl Thorndycraft

Department of Geography, RHUL

Varyl Thorndycraft's Profile Picture

Project Description:

Glaciers in Alaska are large contributors to present-day sea level rise. They are projected to continue to drive eustatic sea level rise for decades to come. Understanding the response of glaciers to past climate change helps to improve our understanding of mass balance sensitivities and likely magnitude and rates of change. Glaciers in Alaska were also important for influencing the resources and migration routes available to humans during the Late Pleistocene, and may have controlled the immigration routes into North America.

This project will use detailed remote sensing of glaciology and geomorphology to reconstruct past area and volume changes of glaciers in the Brooks Range, Alaska. Field surveys, radiocarbon dating and cosmogenic nuclide dating will be utilised to provide further chronological control. Numerical simulations may be applied to understand the climatic drivers of past glacier fluctuations.

Policy Impact of Research:

This project will provide insights into the sensitivities of Alaskan glaciers to climate change, and help to improve projections for future sea level rise and water resource availability.

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