Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

PhD position, climatic change on the Greenland Ice Sheet over the Late Cenozoic to establish lineages to future climate change - Durham, UK

PhD position, climatic change on the Greenland Ice Sheet over the Late Cenozoic to establish lineages to future climate change - Durham, UK

Durham, United Kingdom
Category
Logistics
PhD scholarship
fully funded for UK nations
Start October 2024
Stipend in UKRI values.
The project will be supervised by David Selby, Emma Ownsworth (Earth Sciences), Jerry Lloyd (Geography) & Paul Knutz (GEUS).
Description
PhD Candidate is sought for a fully funded PhD program at Durham University (UK) in the Departments of Earth Sciences and Geography to research the climatic change on the Greenland Ice Sheet over the Late Cenozoic to establish lineages to future climate change.
Recent studies have highlighted the sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to future climate warming with significant implications for global sea-level rise and impacts on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Understanding the past evolution of the GrIS and the interaction with broader climate changes is key to improving our understanding of the potential future response of the GrIS to ongoing climate change. Yet, there are significant gaps in our knowledge in respect to the evolution of the GrIS associated with past climate changes. For example, the detailed evolution and cycles of growth and decay of the GrIS during the time period covering the Pliocene through the Pleistocene (the last 4 – 5 million years) that encompasses numerous fluctuations between warmer and cooler climates. To address these questions the project will build on ongoing research develop-ing and applying a novel technique, osmium-isotopes, to reconstructing ice sheet dynamics associat-ed with development and growth of a Northern GrIS onto and across the continental shelf into the marine environment. Utilising seafloor sediment cores our recent research shows osmium-isotopes can be used to track periods of increased delivery of continental material due to glacial erosion out to the Greenland continental margin and into Baffin Bay (Ownsworth et al., 2023). The osmium-isotope signal in marine cores is, therefore, sensitive to the growth and expansion of the GrIS onto and across the continental shelf during colder intervals and subsequent retreat from the shelf during warmer intervals.
Tasks
Research will principally involve geochemical analyses (osmium-isotopes) but will also include additional sedimentological and microfossil analyses (e.g. foraminiferal analysis, total organic carbon (TOC), XRF scanning, x-rays and multi-sensor core logging). Osmium data will be compared to the well-established proxies collected from the same cores (in collaboration with international partners on IODP 400) and used to reconstruct environmental changes. Specifically, the osmium-isotopes will be used to investigate sediment delivery from the Greenland landmass via glacial erosion and track the development and evolution of the northern GrIS into a tidewater environment onto and across the continental shelf. The sensitivity of the osmium isotope signature to terrestrial-sourced vs open ocean sourced material will provide a detailed understanding of the more subtle changes in sedi-ment provenance linked to past climate changes and, ultimately, the sensitivity of northern GrIS to climate change.
Requirements
Minimum of an Undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences
Applications
For further information write to Prof David Selby - email via form at https://www.dur.ac.uk/staff/d65d2f66/
Applications deadline June 30th 2024.
Application deadline
Further information
For further information write to Prof David Selby - email via form at https://www.dur.ac.uk/staff/d65d2f66/

Reading:
Ownsworth et al., 2023. Tracking sediment delivery to central Baffin Bay during the past 40 kyrs: Insights from a multi-proxy approach and new age model. QSR. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108082
Rooney et al., 2015. Tracking millennial-scale Holocene glacial advance and retreat using osmium isotopes: Insights from the Greenland ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 138, 49-61.
Tan et al., 2018. Dynamic Greenland ice sheet driven by pCO2 variations across the Pliocene Pleistocene transition. Na-ture Communications 9, 4755. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07206-w.
Contact email