Kvartære geosystemer

Holocene climate fluctuations on South Georgia

PhD candidat: Lea Toska Oppedal


Supervision: Jostein Bakke (UiB), Øyvind Paasche (UiB)

Project funding: Norwegian Research Council

Project period: April 2012 - January 2017


The objective of this PhD project is to investigate Holocene climate fluctuations on South Georgia, a sub-Antarctic island which lies in the middle of the westerly wind flow and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Major regional shifts in climate are likely to be recorded in alpine glaciers impacting the sedimentation processes in terrestrial archives on the island. By analyzing sediments in distal glacier-fed lakes, it is possible to reconstruct climate variations going back thousands of years.

The PhD project is divided into three studies: i) Fingerprinting and identification of tephra horizons in bog sediments from South Georgia, ii) A glacier reconstruction based on sediment records from a distal glacier-fed lake and bog on South Georgia, iii) A study of hydrological changes on South Georgia based on biogeochemical evidence in a lake sediment record. Together the results from these studies will be used to infer past trends and fluctuations in the major atmospheric circulation systems of the southern Polar Region.

This PhD project is part of SHIFTS, a research project at the Department of Earth Science funded by the Norwegian Research Council