Willem G.M. van der Bilt's picture

Willem G.M. van der Bilt

Postdoctoral fellow
  • E-mailwillemvanderbilt@uib.no
  • Phone+47 451 28 612
  • Visitor Address
    Realfagbygget, Allégt. 41
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7803
    5020 Bergen

My research is geared towards understanding and utilizing the climate sensitivity of alpine glaciers to reconstruct Late Quaternary climate variability in Earth`s high latitudes. I investigate sites near both poles - on Svalbard, Greenland, South Georgia and the Kerguelen islands. Although the methods I employ also encompass geomorphological mapping and remote sensing techniques, I primarily harness the potential of lake sediments as continuous records of past (glacier) change. My past (PhD) research mostly focused on fingerprinting the signature of glacial rock flour - reflective of variations in glacier extent. To do so, I employed a combination of established physical analyses as well as novel techniques like X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and CT scanning. My current research integrates this sedimentological approach with biomarker (alkenones) paleothermometry to help constrain the climate signature of past glacier change. As a scarcity or organic material often precludes precise classic 14C dating of high-latitude (lake) sediments, I also utilize the geochronological potential of isochronously deposited layers of microscopic volcanic ash (tephra). My future research will expand the outlined multi-disciplinary method toolbox with molecular paleohydrology (hydrogen isotopes) techniques. When successful, this new approach will advance our understanding of our climate system by yielding quantitative reconstructions of glacier size, precipitation and temperature – key parameters of atmospheric climate change.

  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2016. Towards a process-based understanding of Holocene polar climate change. Using glacier-fed lake sediments from Arctic Svalbard and Antarctic South Georgia. University of Bergen.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Røthe, Torgeir Opeland; Støren, Eivind Wilhelm Nagel. 2016. Glacier-fed lakes as palaeoenvironmental archives. Geology Today. 32: 213-218. doi: 10.1111/gto.12166
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Bakke, Jostein. 2016. Mapping sediment–landform assemblages to constrain lacustrine sedimentation in a glacier-fed lake catchment in northwest Spitsbergen. Journal of Maps. 12: 985-993. Published 2015-11-25. doi: 10.1080/17445647.2015.1113391
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. Poolgletsjers Spitsbergen zeer veranderlijk sinds laatste ijstijd. EOS. Published 2015-09-16.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. Veldwerk op Spitsbergen. EOS. 2. 70-73.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. De koude douche voor het warme bad: wat was de Kleine IJstijd precies? EOS. Published 2015-11-29.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; D`Andrea, William; Bradley, Raymond S.; Ólafsdóttir, Sædis. 2015. Reconstruction of glacier variability from lake sediments reveals dynamic Holocene climate in Svalbard. Quaternary Science Reviews. 126: 201-218. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.09.003
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Bereneiland: In de schaduw van Barentsz. Op Lemen Voeten. 500. 6 pages. Published 2014-03-01.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Frew, Craig; Røthe, Torgeir Opeland. 2014. Arctic mission searches for lake `secrets`. The Press and Journal. 20-20. Published 2014-08-29.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2013. De geologie van Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages. Published 2013-06-18.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2013. IJspret op Folgefonna, Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages. Published 2013-09-19.

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