Bjerknessenterets mål er å forstå klima
til nytte for samfunnet.

Seminar: Greenland Caves Project: The Potential for Constructing Speleothem Palaeoclimate Records for the Arctic

Photo Gina Moseley
Gina Moseley

Short biography:

Gina Moseley is an Ingeborg Hochmair Professor in the Quaternary Research Group at the University of Innsbruck. She began studying in caves during her undergraduate degree in Physical Geography at the University of Birmingham. She obtained her PhD from the University of Bristol in 2009 on the subject of Mid to Late-Quaternary Sea-Level Change. She diversified for her first post-doc at the University of Manchester, where she worked on the Mn-Cr dating system in meteorites. In 2011, she moved to Innsbruck where she has focused on speleothem-based studies of rapid climate change and past warm periods in Arctic and Alpine environments. In 2018, she was awarded an FWF Start prize to pursue speleothem research in Northeast Greenland.



Multiple lines of evidence currently exist that demonstrate the climate is changing across our planet and that the Arctic in particular is highly sensitive to these changes, warming up twice as fast as the global average. Understanding how the climate in the Arctic will develop in the future and its subsequent effects is thus a major concern. In order to improve understanding of the climate system within the Arctic, we have collected a suite of speleothem flowstone samples from solutional caves in the Ordovician-Silurian Centrum limestone of Kronprins Christian Land, Northeast Greenland. Under contemporary conditions, the region is arid, barren, and permanently frozen, however, the presence of these caves and thick flowstone deposits indicates a previous milder climate.


During the summer of 2015, the remnants of 26 caves were documented at 80.4°N in Northeast Greenland in a 1 km-long valley. Calcite flowstone speleothems were found to be abundant within the caves, however, due to logistical constraints only small pilot samples were collected for analysis. Here we report the preliminary findings of the project. We find that a number of samples are too old for U-Th dating, whilst others display open-system dynamics. Some samples were, however, deposited within the last 650,000 years and show consistent stable isotopic signatures, thus demonstrating promise for palaeoclimate reconstructions from speleothems in Greenland.


Arranged date for the seminar talk: May 27, 2019