Doctoral Dissertation Research: A Geospatial Analysis of Alpine Glacial Variability

Project: Research project

Project Details


Research proposed here will evaluate the response of South Greenland's many small glaciers and ice caps to climate change from the early 20th century to the present using geospatial analyses of satellite imagery and a unique Danish archive of recently recovered historical air photos. This will be the first study to assess recent regional-scale glacier changes in South Greenland, an area with abundant mountain glaciers but sparse scientific observations. In combination with ongoing dissertation research to reconstruct long-term Holocene climate and glacier variability in South Greenland using lake sediments, the proposed work will place 20th and 21st century glacier retreat into a long-term perspective, addressing the central research question, Is recent glacier behavior in South Greenland outside the natural variability of the Holocene? Analysis of proposed observational records along with established relationships between equilibrium line altitude (ELA) change and climate variables (i.e. temperature and precipitation), will be used to yield improved estimates of the timing and magnitude of major regional climate changes, including the early to middle Holocene Thermal Maximum and the late Holocene Little Ice Age. This work will also assess whether South Greenland's glaciers survived past periods of sustained warmth, ultimately advancing future estimates of glacier sensitivity to 21st century projected warming.
Effective start/end date4/1/189/30/21


  • National Science Foundation (BCS-1812764)


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