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Award Abstract #0713956

Collaborative Research: Detrital cosmochronology of the Greenland Ice Sheet

NSF Org: PLR
Division of Polar Programs
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Initial Amendment Date: August 31, 2007
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Latest Amendment Date: October 6, 2008
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Award Number: 0713956
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: William J. Wiseman, Jr.
PLR Division of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate for Geosciences
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Start Date: September 15, 2007
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End Date: August 31, 2011 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $273,052.00
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Investigator(s): Paul Bierman pbierman@uvm.edu (Principal Investigator)
Nathaniel Lifton (Co-Principal Investigator)
Thomas Neumann (Former Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Vermont & State Agricultural College
85 SO. PROSPECT ST.
BURLINGTON, VT 05405-0160 (802)656-3660
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NSF Program(s): ARCTIC NATURAL SCIENCES
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Program Reference Code(s): 0000, 1079, OTHR
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Program Element Code(s): 5280

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT

Bierman

OPP-0713956

Finkel

OPP-0713938

Understanding Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) history to determine when the ice sheet was smaller than today, is critical to understand increased atmospheric CO2 levels and warming climate. The Principal Investigators will associate the previously diminished GIS with other climate and environmental parameters and provide a foundation for predicting its future behavior. The measurement of in-situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides in samples collected from below the ice sheet has the potential to date past episodes of deglaciation through the analysis of isotopic ratios known as burial dating. When the ice cover diminishes, underlying rock and sediment are exposed to cosmic radiation, and radionuclides with differing half-lives (10Be, 26Al, 36Cl and 14C) are produced. When ice returns, exposed surfaces are buried and cosmic rays no longer reach the once-exposed surfaces. The inventory of radionuclides is unsupported by production and begins to diminish by radio-decay; isotopic ratios change predictably because each isotope has a different half-life. Preliminary multi-isotope cosmogenic analysis of rock collected from the bottom of the GISP2 borehole suggests that the summit area was deglaciated about 0.5 ky raising the specter that when climate warms, the ice sheet can disintegrate completely and perhaps not reform. The Principal Investigators will investigate an alternative approach to deep ice coring by studying the products of subglacial erosion and identify when Greenland was ice-free or partially ice-free. The results have the potential to tell us how the GIS responded to intervals of major climate warming over the past several million years.

Intellectual Merit: This study will rely on sub-glacial erosion to sample previously-exposed rock surfaces and sediment. It will provide previously unavailable information about the GIS by using isotope ratio analysis to identify past times when the rock and sediment beneath the GIS were exposed to cosmic radiation. Ice flow and englacial drainages deliver sediments to the ice margin where they will collect and analyze clasts directly from outcropping ice. The Principal Investigators will analyze populations of burial ages to determine modes of initial exposure time from which they will infer times of major ice retreat in the past. To interpret isotopic data in glaciological context, they will use existing ice flow and thermal models to infer basal conditions and clast transit histories. Isotopic data will indicate glacial erosion efficiency. Because the penetration depth of most cosmic radiation is only several meters, large numbers of clasts containing no cosmogenic nuclides would indicate efficient sub-ice erosion whereas many clasts with significant burial ages would indicate long subglacial residence times and low rates of bed erosion and sediment transport.

Broader Impact: This methodology should have wide application in other areas currently covered by ice. Model ages for GIS shrinkage will provide information for understanding a major driver of sea-level change and have important paleoclimatic implications. Isotopic data will guide future ice coring efforts, particularly those intended to sample sub-ice rock. Two graduate students will be supported.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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Graly, J., Reusser, L., and Bierman, P. R.,. "Short and long-term delivery rates of meteoric 10Be to terrestrial soils," Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v.302, 2010. 

Graly, J., Bierman, P. R., Reusser, L., and Pavich, M. "Meteoric 10Be in soil profiles - a global meta-analysis," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2010. 

Corbett, L. B., Young, N.E., Bierman, P. R., Briner, J. P., Neumann, T.A., Graly, J.A, and Rood, D. H.. "Paired bedrock and boulder 10Be concentrations resulting from early Holocene ice retreat near Jakobshavn Isfjord, western Greenland," Quaternary Science Reviews, 2011. 

Reusser, L., Graly, J., Bierman, P. R., and Rood, D.. "A new approach for constraining long-term meteoric 10Be deposition rates," Geophysical Research Letters, v.37, 2010. 

BOOKS/ONE TIME PROCEEDING

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Graly, J., Corbett, A. B., Bierman, P., T.
Neumann, Lini, A., Reusser, L, Finkel, R.,
Rood, D.. "Surface exposure age and erosion rates
of sub-ice soils in Western Greenland", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Graly, J., Corbett, A. B., Bierman, P., T.
Neumann, Lini, A., Reusser, L, Finkel, R.,
Rood, D.. "Surface exposure age and erosion rates
of sub-ice soils in Western Greenland", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Corbett, L.B., Bierman, P. R., Graly, J. A.,
Neumann, T. A., Rood, D. H., Finkel, R. C.. "In situ cosmogenic 10Be estimates of
deglaciation timing and glacial erosion
efficiency, Upernavik, Western Greenland", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Corbett, L.B., Bierman, P. R., Graly, J. A.,
Neumann, T. A., Rood, D. H., Finkel, R. C.. "In situ cosmogenic 10Be estimates of
deglaciation timing and glacial erosion
efficiency, Upernavik, Western Greenland", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Graly, J., Corbett, A. B., Bierman, P., T.
Neumann, Lini, A., Reusser, L, Finkel, R.,
Rood, D.. "High levels of meteoric 10-Be indicate
that relict soils are preserved in the
western Greenland Ice Sheet.", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "International Polar Year Conference, Oslo.".

Graly, J., Corbett, A. B., Bierman, P., T.
Neumann, Lini, A., Reusser, L, Finkel, R.,
Rood, D.. "High levels of meteoric 10-Be indicate
that relict soils are preserved in the
western Greenland Ice Sheet.", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "International Polar Year Conference, Oslo.".

Bierman, P., Corbett, A. B., Reusser L.,
Graly J., Finkel R., Rood D. and T.
Neumann. "Quantifying post-glacial emergence at
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland using 10-Be
dating of bedrock forms exposed by river
incision", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Bierman, P., Corbett, A. B., Reusser L.,
Graly J., Finkel R., Rood D. and T.
Neumann. "Quantifying post-glacial emergence at
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland using 10-Be
dating of bedrock forms exposed by river
incision", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Arctic Workshop, Winter Park, CO".

Bierman, P., Corbett, A. B., Reusser L.,
Graly J., Finkel R., Rood D. and T.
Neumann. "River response to Greenland deglaciation
monitored with cosmogenic 10-Be: a new
way of detecting and quantifying post-glacial
emergence", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "International Polar Year Conference, Oslo".

Bierman, P., Corbett, A. B., Reusser L.,
Graly J., Finkel R., Rood D. and T.
Neumann. "River response to Greenland deglaciation
monitored with cosmogenic 10-Be: a new
way of detecting and quantifying post-glacial
emergence", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "International Polar Year Conference, Oslo".


(Showing: 1 - 10 of 16)
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