Deglaciation of the northern Svalbard margin

Deglaciation of the northern Svalbard margin

Top image: From a research cruise with the Swedish icebreaker Oden in 2014. Photo: Riko Noormets/UNIS

Oscar Fransner has studied the role of different glacial / non-glacial sedimentary processes in shaping the glaciated continental margin of the northern Barents Sea. Fransner will defend his PhD thesis Friday 4 May at UNIS.

20 April 2018
Press release from the University of Tromsø and the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

The main conclusions are that significant amounts of Quaternary glacial sediments have accumulated off Kvitøya Trough while such sediments are absent off the neighboring Albertini Trough. The glacial sediments in Albertini Trough are instead trapped at the continental shelf edge due to local differences in structural geology.

Ice streams occupied Rijpfjorden and Duvefjorden at northern Nordaustlandet during Late Weichselian. The Duvefjorden ice stream continued northwards over the continental shelf through Albertini Trough, and reached the continental edge during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Deglaciation of Albertini Trough was relatively slow, and was interrupted by reactivations of the ice stream. Carbon-14 dates indicate that deglaciation rate of the continental shelf increased over time. The increasing sea level during deglaciation probably played an important role for the behavior of deglaciation, since the ice front in deeper areas became floating and was affected by calving there. Deglaciation of Rijpfjorden was complete around 10.6 cal. Ka BP, which indicates that the complete deglaciation of the continental shelf north of Nordaustlandet took approximately 8000 years.

PhD defense
Oscar Fransner will defend his thesis entitled “Late Weichselian ice-sheet dynamics and deglaciation history of the northern Svalbard margin” at 13:15 on Friday 4 May. He will give a trial lecture entitled “The role of the Svalbard–Barents deglaciation history in understanding future melting associated to climate change” at 10:15 the same day. Both lectures will take place in Lassegrotta, UNIS/Svalbard Science Centre, Longyearbyen.

The committee consists of Dr. Michele Rebesco, National Insitute of Oceanography and Geophysics, Italy (1. opponent); Dr. Richard Gyllencreutz, lecturer at Institute for Geosciences at Stockholm University, Sweden (2. opponent); and associate professor Dr. Giuliana Panieri, Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Internal member and leader of the committee).

The thesis work has been supervised by Prof. Riko Noormets from the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and Prof. Karin Andreassen from UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

This research has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ under REA grant agreement n° 317217. The research forms part of the GLANAM (GLAciated North Atlantic Margins) Initial Training Network.

About the project
The thesis presents new results from marine geological and geophysical studies based on sediment gravity cores, airgun, subbottom acoustic and high-resolution swath bathymetric data from fjords, the continental shelf and slope north of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. From these records, the glacial landform assemblages as well as the glacial and postglacial sedimentary environments were interpreted.

Research presented in this thesis contributes to a better understanding of the extent, timing and rates of decay of the Svalbard-Barents Sea Ice Sheet (SBIS) during the Late Weichselian, as well as to the understanding of the glacial and interglacial processes that have shaped the northern Svalbard margin.

Oscar FransnerAbout the candidate

Oscar Fransner was born 1989 in Södertälje, Sweden. He completed his master’s degrees in marine geology at Stockholm University, Sweden. In 2013, he started his PhD in marine geology at UNIS and UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The PhD position was funded by GLANAM (Glaciated North Atlantic Margins).









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