Department of Earth Science

Field update from a fruitful INTERACTion in Greenland

pic of Greenland
Willem van der Bilt

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This July, a team from the Universities of Bergen and Aberdeen set out for Greenland on a EU INTERACT grant. Our team, comprising Craig Frew, Matteo Spagnolo and Brice Rea from Aberdeen as well as me and Torgeir Røthe from Bergen, ventured out to Ammassalik Island on the East coast.

Our mission: retrieving sediment cores from a lake fed by a small glacier close the Greenland Ice Sheet. The main goal: using these records to reconstruct glacier variability since the end of the last glacial (± 10000 years). Small glaciers respond much faster to change than the enormous Ice Sheet, providing a sensitive record of past climate variability in East Greenland.

The weather gods blessed us with clear blue skies during our two week field campaign. We even got a tan and can recommend Greenland as a holiday destination if you don`t mind mosquitos. But most importantly, we extracted four ± 3 m long cores using our trustworthy equipment, shipped across the Atlantic from Bergen. These cores may well contain the Holocene climate history of the area.

Up next is the analysis of our cores this fall here in Bergen to isolate a glacier-climate signal from the sediments. The cores are now awaiting further investigation in our core storage. These records from Greenland will add to the SHIFT project`s goal of improving the spread of high-resolution glacier reconstructions across the North Atlantic realm. The brand new EARTHLAB at the UiB will put a range of exciting new tools at our disposal to explore their potential: can`t wait…