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Willem G.M. van der Bilt's picture

Willem G.M. van der Bilt

Postdoctoral fellow
  • E-mailwillemvanderbilt@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 81 08+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.

  • Rutledal, Sunniva; Berben, Sarah Miche Patricia; Dokken, Trond Martin; Bilt, Willem van der; Cederstrøm, Jan Magne; Jansen, Eystein. 2020. Tephra horizons identified in the western North Atlantic and Nordic Seas during the Last Glacial Period: Extending the marine tephra framework. Quaternary Science Reviews.
  • Haaga, Kristian Agasøster ; Bilt, Willem van der; Born, Andreas. 2019. Was common Era glacier expansion in the Arctic Atlantic region triggered by unforced atmospheric cooling? Quaternary Science Reviews. 6 pages.
  • Rutledal, Sunniva; Berben, Sarah Miche Patricia; Dokken, Trond Martin; Bilt, Willem van der; Cederstrøm, Jan-Magne; Jansen, Eystein. 2019. Last Glacial tephra horizons identified in the North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Lane, Christine S. 2019. Lake sediments with Azorean tephra reveal ice-free conditions on coastal northwest Spitsbergen during the Last Glacial Maximum. Science Advances. 8 pages.
  • Ólafsdóttir, Sædis; Reilly, Brendan T; Bakke, Jostein; Stoner, Joseph; Gjerde, Marthe; Bilt, Willem van der. 2019. Holocene paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) near 80° N, Northwest Spitsbergen, Svalbard: Implications for evaluating High Arctic sediment chronologies . Quaternary Science Reviews. 90-102.
  • Cederstrøm, Jan Magne; Bilt, Willem van der; Støren, Eivind Wilhelm Nagel; Rutledal, Sunniva; Berben, Sarah Miche Patricia; Bakke, Jostein; Lane, Christine S. 2019. Harnessing the potential of CT scanning to identify cryptotephra in sediment cores: a controlled experiment.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; D'Andrea, William J.; Werner, Johannes; Bakke, Jostein. 2019. Early Holocene Temperature Oscillations Exceed Amplitude of Observed and Projected Warming in Svalbard Lakes. Geophysical Research Letters. 14732-14741.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Smedsrud, Lars H.; Sund, Monica; Schuler, Thomas; Westermann, Sebastian; Wong, Wai Kwok; Sandven, Stein; Simpson, Matthew James Ross; Skogen, Morten D.; Pavlova, O.; Ravndal, Ole; Risebrobakken, Bjørg; Saloranta, Tuomo; Mezghani, Abdelkader; Nilsen, Jan Even Øie; Nilsen, Irene Brox; Kierulf, Halfdan; Kohler, Jack; Melvold, Kjetil; Gjelten, Herdis Motrøen; Gundersen, Jeanette; Jaedicke, Christian; Dobler, Andreas ; Engeset, Rune; Frauenfelder, Regula; Gerland, Sebastian; Christiansen, Hanne H; Børsheim, Knut Yngve; Breivik, Øyvind; Breili, Kristian; Borstad, Christopher Paul; Benestad, Rasmus; Isaksen, Ketil; Adakudlu, Muralidhar; Førland, Eirik; Hisdal, Hege; Lutz, Julia; Mayer, Stephanie; Hanssen-Bauer, Inger; Sandø, Anne Britt; Andersen, Jess; Nilsen, Frank; Sorteberg, Asgeir; Li, Hong; Bogen, Jim; Beldring, Stein. 2019. Climate in Svalbard 2100 . 1/2019. 1/2019. .
  • Hardeng, Johannes; Bakke, Jostein; Støren, Eivind Wilhelm Nagel; Bilt, Willem van der. 2019. Climate Hazards and Extremes (CHEX) – palaeoflood reconstructions from southernmost Norway.
  • Møller, Tor Einar; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Roerdink, Desiree; Bilt, Willem van der. 2018. The biogeochemistry of Arctic lake sediments: paleoclimate signal or post-depositional cycling? .
  • Bakke, Jostein; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Bilt, Willem van der; Bradley, Raymond S.; D'Andrea, William J.; Gjerde, Marthe; Ólafsdóttir, Sædis; Røthe, Torgeir Opeland; De Wet, Greg. 2018. The Island of Amsterdamøya: A key site for studying past climate in the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard. Quaternary Science Reviews. 157-163.
  • Oppedal, Lea Toska; Bilt, Willem van der; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Bakke, Jostein. 2018. Patagonian ash on sub-Antarctic South Georgia: expanding the tephrostratigraphy of southern South America into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Journal of Quaternary Science. 482-486.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Rea, Brice R.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Roerdink, Desiree; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Bakke, Jostein. 2018. Novel sedimentological fingerprints link shifting depositional processes to Holocene climate transitions in East Greenland. Global and Planetary Change. 52-64.
  • Støren, Eivind Wilhelm Nagel; Bakke, Jostein; Bilt, Willem van der; Poulenard, Jerome; Arnaud, Fabien. 2018. Late Holocene glacier change on Kerguelen Island tracks shifts of the southern Westerly Winds.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Born, Andreas; Werner, Johannes. 2018. Evidence for a spontaneous onset of Little Ice Age change in the North Atlantic Arctic.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Born, Andreas; Werner, Johannes. 2018. Evidence for a spontaneous onset of Little Ice Age change in the Arctic North Atlantic. Geophysical Research Abstracts.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Rea, Brice R.; Spagnolo, Matteo; Bakke, Jostein; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Roerdink, Desiree; Møller, Tor Einar. 2018. East Greenland lake sediments capture surface process response to Holocene climate transitions. Geophysical Research Abstracts.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; D`Andrea, William; Bakke, Jostein. 2018. Early Holocene temperature oscillations exceed amplitude of measured and modeled change in three Svalbard lakes.
  • Oppedal, Lea Toska; Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind; Werner, Johannes. 2018. Cirque glacier on South Georgia shows centennial variability over the last 7000 years. Frontiers in Earth Science.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2018. Arctic Research blog.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; D'Andrea, William J.; Bakke, Jostein; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Werner, Johannes; Gjerde, Marthe; Bradley, Raymond S. 2018. Alkenone-based reconstructions reveal four-phase Holocene temperature evolution for High Arctic Svalbard. Quaternary Science Reviews. 204-213.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Lane, Christine S.; Bakke, Jostein. 2017. Ultra-distal Kamchatkan ash on Arctic Svalbard: Towards hemispheric cryptotephra correlation. Quaternary Science Reviews. 230-235.
  • Sijtsma, Frans J; Bilt, Willem van der; van Hinsberg, Arjen; de Knegt, Bart; van der Heide, Martijn; Leneman, Hans; Verburg, René. 2017. Planning nature in urbanized countries. An analysis of monetary and non-monetary impacts of conservation policy scenarios in the Netherlands. Heliyon.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Werner, Johannes; Paasche, Øyvind; Rosqvist, Gunhild Ninis; Vatle, Sunniva Solheim. 2017. Late Holocene glacier reconstruction reveals retreat behind present limits and two-stage Little Ice Age on subantarctic South Georgia. Journal of Quaternary Science. 888-901.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2017. Ash from large ancient volcano eruption at the edge of Siberia ended up halfway round the world. International Business Times.
  • 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.
  • 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. 985-993.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Røthe, Torgeir Opeland; Støren, Eivind Wilhelm Nagel. 2016. Glacier-fed lakes as palaeoenvironmental archives. Geology Today. 213-218.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind; Rosqvist, Gunhild C.; Werner, Johannes. 2016. A continuous record of Late Holocene glacier fluctuations on South Georgia, placed in a Southern Ocean climate context.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. Veldwerk op Spitsbergen. EOS blogs. 70-73.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. The Dark Ages in Svalbard: colder and dryer than the Little Ice Age?
  • 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. 201-218.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Bakke, Jostein; Vasskog, Kristian; Ólafsdóttir, Sædis; D`Andrea, William. 2015. Rapidly shifting Holocene Arctic climate conditions recorded in a distal glacier-fed lake in Svalbard, Spitsbergen.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. Prehistorisch vet van algenfamilie vertelt klimaatverhaal.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. Poolgletsjers Spitsbergen zeer veranderlijk sinds laatste ijstijd. EOS blogs.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Balascio, Nicholas L.; Bakke, Jostein. 2015. Mapping sediment-landform assemblages to constrain the impact of paraglacial catchment processes on sedimentation in a glacier-fed lake on Northwest Spitsbergen.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2015. De koude douche voor het warme bad: wat was de Kleine IJstijd precies? EOS blogs.
  • Werner, Johannes; Bilt, Willem van der; Tingley, Martin P. 2015. Constraining Age-Depth-Models of Lacustrine Sediments using Bayesian inference .
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Towards a process‐based understanding of Holocene Arctic climate dynamics using sediments from a glacier‐fed lake on Svalbard.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Towards a process-based understanding of Holocene Arctic climate dynamics using sediments from glacier-fed lakes.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Field update from a fruitful INTERACTion in Greenland.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. East Greenland in a nutshell.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Constraining the glacier-climate signal recorded by glacier-fed lake sediments-An example from Svalbard.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Wemyss, Euan. 2014. Climate change 'secrets' recovered from bottom of Greenland lake.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2014. Bereneiland: In de schaduw van Barentsz. Op Lemen Voeten. 6 pages.
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Frew, Craig; Røthe, Torgeir Opeland. 2014. Arctic mission searches for lake `secrets`. The Press and Journal. 20-20.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2013. IJspret op Folgefonna, Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2013. De geologie van Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages.

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