Richard Selwyn Jones
Phone: 04 463 5233 x 6477
Office: CO 510
BSc (Hons) Gloucestershire (2008);
MSc London (2009)
PhD Candidate in Antarctic Quaternary Glaciology
Glacial history and behaviour of outlet glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains since the Last Glacial Maximum
Project Aim and Description
Understanding past glaciological behaviour has implications for interpreting glacier interactions with the past climate system and for predicting the future of the ice. My project aims to reconstruct the extent of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Transantarctic Mountains region at the Last Glacial Maximum, and the way in which it subsequently thinned and retreated to its present configuration.
Studying the glacial deposits and determining the previous size of outlet glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains is of particular interest because of the need to validate ice sheet models with empirical data. These same models can then be used with more confidence to make predictions of future change. An essential analytical technique in Antarctica is cosmogenic nuclide dating, which allows us to measure how long ago glacially-deposited boulders were left behind by the ice sheet. Thereafter we can establish the vertical and horizontal extent of the ice sheet in the region at different points in time.
My research focuses on mapping and dating glacial deposits at the Skelton and Mackay glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains. Their past behaviour relates to the retreat of grounded ice in the Ross Sea which, in turn, holds significance for the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and affiliated sea level change. Data collected in two proposed field seasons together with the assessment of satellite imagery will be used to delimit, age and model the former positions of the ice sheet surface.