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Science and Mathematics

K.D. Nelson Lecture Series – Dr. Jacqueline Austermann

December 1, 2022 at 4:00pm5:00pm EST

Heroy Geology Laboratory, 113

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The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences presents the K.D. Nelson Lecture Series featuring speaker Dr. Jacqueline Austermann. Her talk is titled: Sea level change during past (and future) warming – a solid Earth perspective 

Past warm periods serve as testing grounds to explore how major ice sheets respond to warming. Austermann’s work aims to reconstruct sea level during past warm periods including the Last interglacial (~125 ka), the mid-Pliocene warm period (~3 Ma), and the early Pliocene (~5 Ma) when temperatures were warmer than today (0.5-1.5 ºC, 2-3 ºC, ~4ºC relative to pre-industrial, respectively). In this talk Austermann will first focus on a Last Interglacial sea level record from the Bahamas.  She will show the stratigraphic evidence including new U-Th coral ages and describe how we can leverage the spatial extent of the data to constrain the contribution of glacial isostatic adjustment to past sea level. Austermann will further present ongoing research that integrates this finding with observations from sites around the globe to fingerprint the melt history of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets during the last interglacial. Lastly, she will highlight a few studies that constrain sea level during earlier warm periods and stress the importance of understanding mantle convection for these reconstructions. Austermann will end by showing that the results from all time periods combined start to paint a coherent picture of ice sheet sensitivity and explore what this means for ice sheet processes and future sea level rise.

This event was published on November 23, 2022.

Event Details