Examining the effects of climate change on glaciers in SvalbardExamining the effects of climate change on glaciers in Svalbard
Location: Longyearbyen, Svalbard. 78.2232° N, 15.6267° E
Team members: James Linighan, Rebecca Burley, Hannah Davies, Kirstie Murphy, Jack Oxtoby and Emily Potter
Project outline: The aim of our project was to examine the effects of climate change on four glaciers in Svalbard; Longyearbreen, Tunabreen, Rieperbreen and Scott Turnerbreen. We were based in the town of Longyearbyen for six weeks in July and August 2016. On Longyearbreen, ablation rates, debris cover, local climatic conditions and supraglacial melt channels were assessed over the field season to evaluate the effects of a warming climate on the glacier. At Tunabreen, supraglacial lakes and moulins were mapped and analysed using Structure-from-Motion to determine their contribution to glacial velocities and iceberg calving in response to increasing summer temperatures. At Scott Turnerbreen, high accuracy elevation data was collected using a dGPS to determine surface elevation change since 1993. Rates of weathering and erosion on the moraines of Longyearbreen and Rieperbreen were measured to determine glacial response to past climatic changes. Our research in Svalbard will help us to gain a better and broader understanding of how warming Arctic temperatures impact this glaciated region, and the possible consequences this may have in the future.
Acknowledgment: This expedition was supported by the Newcastle University Expeditions Committee, the Royal Geographical Society, the Gino Watkins Memorial Fund and the Andrew Croft Memorial Fund.
Study of fluvial and environmental processes affected by Calbuco eruptionStudy of fluvial and environmental processes affected by Calbuco eruption
Location: Calbuco volcano, southern Chile 41°20'00.0"S, 72°37'00.0"W
Team members: Alexandra McKee, Rebecca Leitch and Diana Luke (BSc Geography undergraduates)
Project outline: Combined, our overall aim was to study the fluvial and ecological effects of the April 2015 Calbuco eruption, however individually this involved investigating fluvial geomorphology, lahar characterisation and ecological disturbance. We completed four weeks of fieldwork in July and August 2016 at two sites along the Rio Blanco Este, a highly affected river. To evaluate the fluvial response and recovery of the Rio Blanco Este, we used GPS and DGPS devices to gain coordinates and elevation data of the geomorphology, as well as comparative imagery. To understand the lahar chronology, we chose several sediment facies to analyse the lahar characteristics and rheology, as well as completing sediment grain size analysis at a sediment laboratory at the Forestry Department at the Universidad Austral de Chile. To assess vegetation disturbance, we used quantitative methods and comparative imagery. This information will increase knowledge of the eruption itself and the various impacts on fluvial and ecological processes.
Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Newcastle Expeditions Committee, the Royal Geographical Society with IBG, the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust and the Gilchrist Educational Society.
View the group's presentation at the ExCo evening.
Peak discharge and the impacts of a glacial outburst floodPeak discharge and the impacts of a glacial outburst flood
Predicting the peak discharge and the impacts of a glacial outburst flood to the geomorphology of the surrounding area.
Location: Northern Italy, Belvedere Glacier, Macugnaga 45°58N, 7°58E
Team Members: Charlotte Bryan, Alex Stirk
Project Outline: The aim of the project was to predict the peak discharge of the 1979 glacial outburst flood and assess the impacts that this flood had on the geomorphology of the area. This involved a month of fieldwork in August 2016. In order to estimate the peak discharge of the flood levelling techniques were used and paleoflood deposits had to be identified on the flood routeways. Furthermore there was research into the erosional and depositional landforms in the proximal area of Belvedere glacier. I believe that this information will improve our understanding of glacial outburst floods and the impacts that these events can have on the geomorphology.
Acknowledgements: This research was supports by the Sonia Stonehouse Expedition Funding and also the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
Pre 2015Pre 2015
University funded students may also be selected to present at the Celebrating Research Scholarships and Expeditions Public Lecture held each year in November.