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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

RSENR PhD Proposal Seminar & Defense: Lee Corbett

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Understanding High-Latitude Landscape Development in the Presence of Non-Erosive Glacial Ice

By Lee Corbett

Seminar: 1:00PM, Aiken 311
Defense: 2:00PM, Aiken 311

Paul Bierman, PhD, RSENR and Geology, Advisor
Andrea Lini, PhD, Geology, Chair
Jeff Hughes, PhD, RSENR and Plant Biology
Shelly Rayback, PhD, Geography

High latitude landscapes are complex and their evolution over time is not well constrained. However, due to modern climate change and the warming of the Arctic, these lands are now the subject of management decisions regarding the future of development and resource extraction. Hence, the scientific understanding of these landscapes lags behind the need to make management decisions concerning them.

For my doctoral dissertation, I will utilize cosmogenic nuclides (10Be and 26Al) to constrain the evolution of high latitude landscapes preserved beneath cold-based, non-erosive glacial ice. Such ancient landscapes violate the assumptions of traditional cosmogenic exposure dating and require alternate approaches for extracting information about their development over long timescales. I will work in two areas in the Arctic (Thule, northwest Greenland and Baffin Island, Canada) to refine the approaches used for extracting information from landscapes preserved beneath non-erosive ice and will utilize cosmogenic nuclides to make inferences about long-term subglacial landscape evolution and glacial history.

In Thule, northwest Greenland, I will employ analysis of 10Be and 26Al in 28 glacially-deposited boulders. I seek to constrain the chronology of deglaciation, make inferences about long-term subglacial preservation of surfaces, and study the recycling of glacial sediments over numerous glacial-interglacial periods. In Baffin Island, Canada, I will employ analysis of 10Be and 26Al in 155 bedrock and boulder samples. I seek to use this large dataset to understand the large-scale trends of age and development on a landscape preserved beneath non-erosive glacial ice. As part of both projects, I will enhance the methods used to both prepare samples and numerically model possible exposure and burial

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