Coupling of lithosphere dynamics, surface processes and ice sheet evolution - constraints from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica


Dr. Karsten Gohl 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung 
Fachbereich Geowissenschaften 
Sektion Geophysik

Professorin Dr. Cornelia Spiegel 
Universität Bremen 
Fachbereich 05: Geowissenschaften 
Fachgebiet Geodynamik der Polargebiete


West Antarctica combines one ofthe largest active rift systems with one ofthe largest ice sheets on earth. Complete melting ofthe West Antarctic ice sheet would result in a global sea level rise of ~5 m. Understanding ice sheet dynamics is of major importance for predicting future deglaciation processes in Antarctica. Generally, it is assumed that the geodynamic activity of Westem Antarctica as the "cradle" of the West Antarctic ice sheet exerts a strong influence on ice sheet dynamics, but coupling and feedback mechanisms are poorly understood. Also, information on both, the geodynamic evolution of West Antarctica and on long-term changes of its ice sheet is scarce. Our project aims to apply geophysical and thermochronological methods for unravelling the geodynamic evolution of Marie Byrd Land (West Antarctica) in terms of crustal structure, exhumation and erosion rates, fault activities, and (paleo-) geothermal gradient. Furthermore, we will use cosmogenic nuclide analysis for reconstructing thinning rates and glacial retreat in Marie Byrd Land. The combination of both data sets will provide information on spatial and temporal correlations of geodynamic activity and ice sheet evolution. This will contribute to our understanding of interrelations between lithospheric processes, surface processes, and ice sheet dynamics, thus providing benchmarks for future deglaciation models.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Internationaler Bezug: Neuseeland

Beteiligte Person: Privatdozent Dr. Frank Lisker

Förderung von 2009 bis 2018