Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Suzanne O'Connell

Major

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

With climate change presenting the very real threat of sea level rise as one of many side effects, it is important in planning for future changes to understand how it changed in the past. With the potential to raise sea level by ~60 meters if it melted completely, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and its responses to changing climate is an critical relationship to study. In this thesis I analyze two marine sediment cores of Pleistocene and Pliocene age from the same site off the coast of Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, for signs of climate change-related fluctuations in the fine fraction (<63um) of sediment. Using changes in mean grain size and reflectance-derived mineral assemblages I identify warm and cold periods within the cores. Wavelet analysis provides likely sedimentation rates, which help constrain the timing of the climate fluctuations.

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