Kurt Joy - People - Gateway Antarctica - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Kurt Joy

Completed PhD in Geology 2012

A late Quaternary ice sheet history from in-situ cosmogenic exposure dating, South Victoria Land, Antarctica

My research interests lie in the field of paleoclimatology, particularly in the dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheets and their effect on global sea levels during the Quaternary. An apparent deficit exists between the ~120 metres of sea level rise since the LGM (~18 ka) and the modelled global ice volume. The timing and magnitude of Antarctic Ice Sheet fluctuations and contribution to sea level rise is the subject of much debate, therefore an understanding of their behaviour in the past is key to predicting the response to modern climate change.

With the position and thickness of the grounded ice margin being questioned, further evidence of ice sheet dynamics is needed to constrain thermodynamic models. I am using surface exposure dating in an outlet glacier system, the Darwin Hatherton Glacial System that drains the East Antarctic Ice Sheet into the Ross Embayment to recreate a chronology of glacial high stands.  A key analytical method used is insitu terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating. This nuclear based technique allows the exposure time since a landforms deposition to be measured, using Beryllium-10 and Aluminium-26 radionuclides. The technique is well suited to glacial environments up to 4 Million years old and its use is becoming more widespread in the Polar Regions where there is a lack of other terrestrial evidence. In particular I am interested in numerically modelling the effect of tectonic uplift, ice shielding and scaling on radionuclide production rates.  The use of this technique requires a strong international collaboration between the University of Canterbury’s Cosmogenic Preparation Laboratory and the ANTARES Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) facility at ANSTO in Sydney, Australia.