Understanding how glacier dynamics is recorded in lake and fjord sediments (GLADiS)

01 January 2018 → 30 June 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

Glaciers are currently retreating at an alarming rate worldwide as a consequence of global climate

change. Since glaciers respond rapidly to changes in temperature and winter precipitation,

reconstructing their behavior in the past can provide precious information regarding the evolution

of the climate system. Traditional geomorphic techniques used to reconstruct the evolution of

glaciers, however, provide records that are notoriously discontinuous. Proglacial sediments, on the

other hand, have the potential to hold accurate, continuous, and high-resolution records of past

glacier dynamics. They are therefore increasingly regarded as one of the best archives of past glacier

variability. How changes in glacier dynamics are reflected in sediment physical and chemical

properties remains however relatively unknown. With this in mind, this project will study sediment

cores collected in Patagonian lakes and fjords fed by well-documented calving and land-based

glaciers to determine the most accurate sediment tracers of glacier variability. We will purposely

work on lakes and fjords fed by (a) advancing and (b) retreating glaciers to determine the

sedimentary signature of the processes that are of interest in paleo-studies. Ultimately, this project

will provide a much clearer picture of how glacier dynamics is recorded in lake and fjord sediments

and it will identify proxies that are well suited to reconstruct past glacier dynamics worldwide.