Modelling the Eurasian ice sheet complex and its environmental legacy during the Last Glacial Maximum and beyond


Henry Patton

From CAGE, University of Tromsø

The Eurasian ice sheet complex (EISC) was the third largest ice mass during the Last Glacial Maximum, spanning >4,500 km from southwest Britain to northern Siberia and locking up around 20 m of eustatic sea-level equivalent. Recent empirical data and insights have significantly advanced our understanding of the chronology, pattern, and rates of retreat in most sectors of this vast ice complex, yet model-based reconstructions have remained conspicuously absent. Through use of a first-order, thermomechanical ice sheet model, validated using independent glacio-isostatic modelling and a diverse suite of empirical constraints, we demonstrate the 3-D asynchronous evolution of the EISC during the last glacial cycle, reflecting contrasting regional sensitivities to climate forcing, oceanic influence, and internal dynamics. The complex environmental legacy of the EISC can be examined effectively with respect to a range of geosystems using model outputs that account for the evolving relative sea level, patterns of climate forcing, and ice sheet properties. In this seminar I will touch upon our on the impacts the EISC had on hydrocarbon reservoirs, as well the hydrological/ocean systems far beyond the ice margin.

Published Aug. 8, 2018 3:10 PM - Last modified Sep. 5, 2018 11:01 AM