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.

  • 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. Norwegian Centre for Climate Services Reports. 1/2019. Norsk klimaservicesenter. 105 pages.
  • 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. 5. 8 pages. Published 2019-10-23. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5980
  • 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. 222. 6 pages. Published 2019-10-15. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.07.042
  • 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. 210: 90-102. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.003
  • 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. 183: 157-163. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.11.005
  • 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. 20. doi: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2018/EGU2018-10390.pdf
  • 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. 183: 204-213. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.10.006
  • 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. 20. doi: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2018/EGU2018-10516.pdf
  • 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. 164: 52-64. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2018.03.007
  • 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. 6. doi: 10.3389/feart.2018.00002
  • 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. 33: 482-486. doi: 10.1002/jqs.3035
  • 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. doi: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ash-large-ancient-volcano-eruption-edge-siberia-ended-halfway-round-world-1622995
  • 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. 32: 888-901. doi: 10.1002/jqs.2937
  • Bilt, Willem van der; Lane, Christine S.; Bakke, Jostein. 2017. Ultra-distal Kamchatkan ash on Arctic Svalbard: Towards hemispheric cryptotephra correlation. Quaternary Science Reviews. 164: 230-235. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.04.007
  • 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. 3. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00280
  • 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. De koude douche voor het warme bad: wat was de Kleine IJstijd precies? EOS. Published 2015-11-29.
  • 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; 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. IJspret op Folgefonna, Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages. Published 2013-09-19.
  • Bilt, Willem van der. 2013. De geologie van Noorwegen. Op Pad. 1 pages. Published 2013-06-18.

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