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Award Abstract #1023191

Deciphering 6 My of the Greenland Ice Sheet History using in situ 10-Be from marine sediment cores

NSF Org: PLR
Division Of Polar Programs
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Initial Amendment Date: August 26, 2010
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Latest Amendment Date: December 23, 2014
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Award Number: 1023191
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Marc Stieglitz
PLR Division Of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
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Start Date: September 1, 2010
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End Date: February 29, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $354,213.00
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Investigator(s): Paul Bierman pbierman@uvm.edu (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): INSTRUMENTATION & FACILITIES,
ARCTIC NATURAL SCIENCES
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Program Reference Code(s): 1079
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Program Element Code(s): 1580, 5280

ABSTRACT

This research will explore a new method of deciphering the history of the Greenland Ice Sheet over the Pliocene and Pleistocene by measuring the cosmogenic isotope beryllium-10 in sediment cores previously collected off southern and eastern Greenland by the Ocean Drilling program. Beryllium-10 is produced by cosmic rays in exposed rock. The premise of this investigation is that Be-10 accumulates in surface rock during times of ice-sheet retreat and is eroded and deposited in marine sediment during times of ice-sheet growth. The isotopic time series will include Pleistocene and Pliocene sediment stretching back 4 to 6 million years, possibly beyond the onset of continental-scale glaciation in Greenland. The investigators hope to 1) constrain the time at which continental glaciation on Greenland began, 2) estimate the relative areal extent of the ice sheet through time, 3) determine the erosivity and sediment transport efficiency of the ice sheet, and 4) constrain the erosion rate of Greenland prior to the onset of glaciation. Understanding Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics in the past (particularly the extent of deglaciation and the timescale of regrowth) is key to understanding how the ice sheet might behave in the future. A central part of the project is the training of a young postdoctoral research associate, and two undergraduate students will work on the project as well.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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Nelson, A. H., Bierman, P. R., Shakun, J. D., Rood, D. H.. "Using in situ cosmogenic 10Be to identify the
source of sediment leaving Greenland," Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v.NA, 2014, p. 10.1002/e. 

Bierman, P. R., Corbett, L., Graly, J., Neumann, T, Lini, A., Crosby, B., and Rood, D.. "Preservation of a pre-glacial landscape under the center of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Science.," SCIENCE, 2014. 

Portenga, E. and Bierman, P. R.. "Understanding Earth's Eroding Surface with 10Be.," GSA Today, v.21, 2011. 

 

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