History and Stability of the Marine Cryosphere in Northwestern Greenland

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 31/12/2019
Funding: 3938000 SEK


This project will study the stability and deglacial history of the marine cryosphere in the area of Petermann Glacier, the largest point of ice drainage for the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet. Petermann Glacier lost nearly 40% of its floating ice tongue during recent calving events. Patterns and causes for sudden changes on human decadal time scales rather than gradual changes on millennial time scales are in focus. The geological control on ice retreat dynamics, such as influences on ice stability from bedrock and/or landscape physiography, the history and dynamic roles of the floating ice tongue and sea ice will be addressed. This project is based on data from the successful Petermann Glacier 2015 expedition with icebreaker Oden, including sediment cores from 57 sites, multibeam bathymetry, water column imagery, and seismic reflection profiles. The expedition involved 58 scientists from six countries and this project forms a key component of the consortium’s effort to understand the history and dynamics of the Petermann Glacier. This project includes detailed analyses of submarine glacial landforms, reconstruction of sea-ice history using biomarkers, reconstruction of bottom water variability using Mg/Ca paleo-thermometry and compilation of a high-resolution bathymetric-topographic model of the region. The project will contribute to a better understanding of marine cryosphere dynamics, the remaining largest uncertainty in our future assessments of sea-level rise.

Last updated on 2017-05-10 at 07:55