New research on subglacial erosion and sediment transport

Ian Delaney has recently submitted a paper about modeling subglacial erosion and sediment transport. Here, he and group members Leif Anderson and Frederic Herman developed a two-dimensional model that erodes bedrock and transports sediment in response to hydraulic conditions and sediment availability below the glacier. 

Here are a couple of videos showing the model’s behavior as applied to Griesgletscher here in Switzerland. Hopefully, the accompanying manuscript will be available in the coming months. 

This video shows subglacial conditions such as the size of the subglacial channels, the water flow, and the water velocity as they respond to hydrological forcing. We also show the changes in routing that occur in the domain by evaluating the number of cells that feed into a cell (receiver cells). 

The second video shows the spatial distribution of subglacial water discharge and sediment discharge. The top panel shows the total water transport in sediment from the catchment and the response of the sediment thickness across the catchment to sediment transport. 

Please feel free to contact Ian about the research at ianarburua.delaney@unil.ch.

We’re hiring!

Following the recent success of Dr. Ian Delaney’s SNSF Ambizione fellowship application, and also Dr. Christoph Schmidt’s SNSF Project funding application, we have three new positions open to join ICE early next year!

Ian is looking for a PhD student in glaciology, whilst Christoph is looking for a PhD student and post-doctoral researcher to work on the development of luminescence palaeothermometry. More details can be found on the Open Positions tab.

Congratulations to Ian and Christoph on the funding of their new projects!

vLED2021 and congratulations Joanne!

Last week many members of ICE participated in the first virtual Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating (LED) conference. The conference organisers did a fantastic job of creating a dynamic online event, comprising a combination of zoom sessions, pre-recorded oral and poster presentations and the opportunity to discuss and socialise with colleagues via GatherTown. All of the PhD students did brilliantly at presenting their research, including Yuni and Xiaoxia who started earlier this year.

Yuni presented preliminary results of luminescence dating on fluvial sediments from Indonesia, whilst Xiaoxia presented her first ESR dose response curves for samples collected at Sion, which she is using to develop the ESR-thermochronometry technique. Chloé showed why the choice of temperatures for isothermal decay measurements is crucial for deriving robust thermal kinetic parameters from feldspar minerals, whilst Joanne presented her first luminescence palaeothermometry ages from Gornergrat, Zermatt. Joanne’s presentation was very well received by the community and she was awarded the Ann Wintle prize for best application – congratulations Joanne!

In addition to the PhD students, the senior researchers from ICE were also very active. Melanie presented her final results from exploring the effect of chemical weathering on the luminescence properties of feldspar, whilst Christoph presented his initial results from trying to apply rock surface exposure dating to pebbles from the Nazca lines in Peru.

The next LED meeting will take place in Denmark in 2023 – we are really looking forward to seeing our colleagues again in person and to discussing the latest developments in luminescence and ESR dating together then.

New research published!

Joanne contrasted the luminescence properties of rock slices placed directly on the carousel, and those placed into a sample cup. The latter had more reproducible luminescence properties.

Joanne’s latest work on reducing variation in OSL rock surface dating profiles is to be published in Quaternary Geochronology! Through numerous experiments, her paper explores the influence of various measurement parameters on scatter observed in OSL-depth profiles measured from rock surfaces exposed in Zermatt, Switzerland. The results of the study highlight the potential impact of thermal lag, and concludes by suggesting that future OSL rock surface dating studies place samples in metal cups, reduce heating rates and increase preheating and holding times to minimise this effect.

You can read Joanne’s article here.

Welcome Yuniarti!

Yuniarti joined IDyST as a PhD student in February 2021 having completed an MSc in Geology at the Institute of Technology in Bandung, Indonesia. Her research will focus on understanding the Quaternary morphodynamics of tropical fluvial systems, with a specific study area of Riau Province, Indonesia. You can find out more about Yuniarti and her research here. Yuniarti will be co-supervised by Prof. Georgina King (ICE) and Prof. Stuart Lane (ALPWISE). Welcome Yuniarti!

New adventures – farewell Lily and Rabiul!

It is bitter sweet to say farewell to Lily Bossin and Rabiul Biswas this month, who have both secured permanent academic positions elsewhere.

Rabiul joined IDyST as a Senior SNSF Scientist in 2015. He has been involved in numerous projects since then, especially the development of thermoluminescence thermochronometry, and more recently thermoluminescence thermometry. Rabiul has secured an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Lily joined IDyST as a post-doctoral researcher in February 2019. She was key to the establishment of the Electron Spin Resonance dating laboratory and has been working towards the establishment of measurement protocols for ESR thermochronometry. Lily has secured a position as a Physicist at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland.

This is a fantastic and very much well deserved achievement for both Lily and Rabiul, and whilst we will miss them, we wish them the best of luck in their new positions and for their future careers!

Lily in action in the field! A physicist by training, geological sampling was completely new to Lily when she joined IDyST.
Rabiul receives a farewell gift in his office. The photo depicts fieldwork that he participated in at the Gornergletscher, Zermatt, Switzerland.

Welcome Leif!

Leif Anderson joined ICE on November 1st.

Leif is a geomorphologist and glaciologist. He develops numerical models to understand glacier, climate, and landscape change. He addresses Quaternary timescale questions to place modern, observed changes in context. Leif’s focus more recently has been on future glacier evolution.

Leif is joining ICE as a postdoctoral researcher to model the erosion of the Alps over the last million years on the ICED project, you can find out more about his research here.

Congratulations Nadja!

Nadja Stalder submitted her PhD thesis this week, titled “Interactions between tectonics, climate and erosion – a case study of the Central Andes using low-temperature thermochronology”. Congratulations Nadja!

Nadja was supervised by Prof. Frédéric Herman and will defend her thesis privately on June 9th with a committee additionally composed of three external experts, Prof. Peter Reiners (University of Arizona), Dr. M. Giuditta Fellin (ETH Zürich) and Prof. Manfred Strecker (University of Potsdam) as well as one internal expert Prof. Lukas Baugartner.

 

 

Welcome Christoph!

Christoph Schmidt joined ICE on April 1st.

Christoph is an expert in trapped-charge dating with more than 10 years of experience. His research to date has primarily focussed on understanding and quantifying landscape changes throughout the Quaternary, with particular interests in human-environment interactions and constraining late-Quaternary volcanism.

He is joining ICE as a senior scientist with overall responsibility for the trapped-charge dating laboratories.

You can find out more about Christoph here.  Welcome Christoph!

Visit to the KTB

As part of the recently started ERC project ICED, Georgina and Lily visited to the KTB borehole, Windinscheschenbach (Bavaria) to collect a range of calibration samples. The KTB borehole was drilled between 1987 and 1995 reaching a depth of 9 km and temperatures of over 300 °C. Because this region has been tectonically stable over 10s of millions of years, these samples have experienced stable temperatures and thus provide an excellent calibration set for thermochronometry. These samples will be used to confirm the performance of the electron spin resonance (ESR) thermochronometry method.

Lily happy amongst the sample cores.

The drill rig used to sample the main KTB borehole (our samples are from the test borehole, which was located nearby).