Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Collaborative Research: Response of the Northwest Greenland Cryosphere to Holocene Climate Change (Award# 1108306)

PI: Axford, Yarrow L (
Phone: (847) 467.2268 
Institute/Department: Northwestern University, Earth and Planetary Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ANS
Program Manager: Dr. Henrietta Edmonds ( )
Discipline(s): | Cryosphere |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The aim of this collaborative project between investigators at three universities is to develop records of past climate in northwest (NW) Greenland and synthesize them with records of the position of the ice margin to evaluate the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to past warm periods, such as the Holocene Climatic Optimum (approximately 5 to 9 thousand years ago). Recent studies suggest that rapid ice loss is expanding northwards into NW Greenland, as demonstrated by the dramatic August, 2010, calving event from Petermann Glacier. The proposed research integrates multiple climate proxies and glaciological modeling experiments in the Thule region with the following research objectives: 1) Reconstruct Holocene climate in NW Greenland via inferences from reconstructed local ice cap extents (North Ice Cap, Tuto Ice Cap), ice core stable isotope and precipitation records, and data from nearby lake sediments. 2) Examine the sensitivity of the NW Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to Holocene climate changes by developing the history of the areal extent of the GIS and synthesizing proxy data with glaciological modeling experiments to examine past GIS changes and predict future GIS retreat. Results from the research will enable a more accurate prediction of the NW Greenland cryospheric response to a future warmer world and provide information directly relevant to predictions of future sea-level rise. The investigators will enhance public outreach and K-12 science education through development of educational modules using simplified, web-based, climate and glaciological models. They would involve graduate and undergraduate students in field and lab research, participate in the Dartmouth Women in Science Project, and partner with the Dartmouth polar IGERT program.

Logistics Summary:
Researchers on this collaboration between Osterberg (Dartmouth, 1107411, Lead), Birkel (U Maine, 1107421) and Axford (Northwestern, 1108306) , will conduct geological and glaciological research at four locations in the Thule, Greenland area: (1) along the Tuto Ramp/Dome margin located southeast of Thule, (2) along the eastern margin of the North Ice Cap (north of Thule) near the Red Rock Ice Cliff, (3) along the southern margin of the North Ice Cap, and (4) on the North Ice Cap summit. Information will help researchers develop Holocene-period glacial extents of the North Ice Cap and Tuto Ice Cap. Logistics details are under 1107411.

For support details, see 1107411 in this database.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2012Greenland - Thule0
2013Greenland - Thule0
2014Greenland - Thule0

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