Greenland project aims to develop a understanding of weathering across forelands of retreating ice sheets

Published: September 6th, 2018

Category: Featured, Front Page, News

Ellen and Jon Martin led three NSF-funded field deployments to Greenland over the past two summers, for a total of 20 weeks in the field.  The project introduced 2 UF Postdocs, 2 PhD students and 3 undergraduates to high latitude field work in remote locations, and has employed additional undergraduates to help analyze samples back at UF.

The goal of the project is to sample two types of streams in Greenland, those that drain ice sheet meltwater from newly exposed landscapes and others that drain annual precipitation and permafrost melt (no glacial water) from more mature landscapes.  The team analyzes the chemical composition of these two stream types to determine how they differ and how those differences may vary over a range of time scales from daily, to annual, to millennial.

Jon Martin, Andrea Pain (Postdoc), Scott Schnur (PhD student, Emory University), Mark Robbins (PhD student), and Hailey Hall (undergraduate) sampling waters and gas exchange along a river outside of Sisimiut, a town of ~1500 residents on the west coast of Greenland. (Photo by Ellen Martin)

Their results should contribute to our understanding of how weathering in these two types of streams affects delivery of nutrients to the ocean as well as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the oceans to help refine predictions of future responses to ice-sheet retreat and to provide context that will allow scientists to interpret past ice-sheet retreats and climate changes, based on chemical records.

See information about ongoing NSF-funded Greenland Research aimed at developing a holistic understanding of weathering across forelands of retreating ice sheets: https://grainfluxes.geology.ufl.edu/

 

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