Natural variability in Atlantic Water inflow and heat transport to the Arctic
This Master's project is available from the intake of August 2019
Recent decreases in Arctic sea ice have been linked to changes in ocean heat transport, northward flowing Atlantic waters., and Atlantification of the Arctic. How do these changes compare to past periods of reduced Arctic Sea ice? Is the recent decline similar to past reductions in sea ice in processes, magnitude, and rates, or is it unique? Defining the history of Atlantic water inflow and its properties are essential in order to better contextualize and understand ongoing sea ice decline.
This project will utilize newly recovered sediment cores from the Nansen Legacy project to reconstruct past changes in bottom water physical properties along the inflow pathway of Atlantic water entering the Arctic Ocean. The student will generate stable isotope records of benthic foraminifera in order to reconstruct Atlantic water changes through the Holocene and deglaciaion. Time and material permitting the student will also generate independent temperature records (Mg/Ca). The work involves lab and microscope work and the student should present their results at an annual scientific meeting of the Nansen Legacy project which is a nation wide collaboration. There may also be an opportinuty to join a research cruise to the Arctic on the Kronprins Haakon icebreaker to recover additional cores in 2020.
Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS):
GEOV 222 (Paleoclimate, 10sp),
GEOV 231 (10sp),
GEOV 331 (Paleoceanography, 5sp)
GEOV 342 (isotope geochemistry, 10 sp)
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The thesis will generate new data constraining a key pathway for heat transport to the Arctic. The work involves lab analysis at the national stable isotope facility (FARLAB) at GEO and work preparing samples in the sediment lab (EARTHLAB) and microscope work. There is a possibility for participation in the 2020 AeN research cruise (scheduled for Aug/Sept. 2020) depending upon berths on the ship.