RISeR presents first sea level and ice sheet modelling results

Over the last few months, the RISeR team have been making great progress towards producing the state-of-the-art sea level index points that we will need to reconstruct rates, magnitudes and timings of North Sea Last Interglacial sea level rise. Results from Victor and Natasha’s preliminary composition analysis of the five newly acquired cores have proven very promising and point to exciting science to come from our upcoming experiments.

A key element in the process of turning these tubes of sediment into high quality sea level index points is an understanding how the Earth changes shape as water and ice are interchanged and redistributed over the globe during glacial cycle transitions – a process we term glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Cores are swapped for code in Oliver’s GIA PhD as calculating these Earth deformations requires the use of computational models and he has been working hard during his first year on setting up and testing these. In the last few weeks the first results of this work has started to emerge and Oliver has had the chance to represent RISeR and show his findings at two international conferences.

Comprising of world-class scientists in the field of Palaeo sea level, the PALSEA group’s (co-leader, Natasha) Express virtual conference held in September was a great opportunity for Oliver to share and discuss his new model results. A major component in the modelling of GIA for the North Sea region is our reconstruction of the Eurasian ice sheet and Oliver presented a poster focused on his work in understanding what impact changes in this model’s regional thickness has on the magnitude of this signal.

In November, the Quaternary Interglacials working group, or QUIGS, held a Virtual IFG meeting on glacial terminations and presented a fantastic opportunity for Oliver to show his work on the impacts that the southerly marginal extent of the Eurasian could have on North Sea GIA. He presented a twelve-minute talk showing various outputs from the GIA model based on different glacial extent scenarios.

Oliver’s next steps will be to build upon his work done so far and outline a comprehensive sensitivity experiment for the GIA model including incorporating valuable input and feedback he received from scientists at PALSEA and QUIGS.

Post by: Oliver Pollard