PhD defence: Mette Bendixen – Københavns Universitet

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PhD defence: Mette Bendixen

Mette Bendixen defends her PhD thesis: 

Delta Dynamics
Evolution of Sedimentary Coasts in Greenland in a Changing Climate 

Professor Bo Elberling, IGN
Associate Professor Aart Kroon, IGN 

Assessment Committee
Professor Thorbjørn Joest Andersen, IGN (chair)
Professor Maarten Kleinhans, University of Utrecht
Professor Hugues Lantuit, Alfred Wegener Institute

After the PhD defence there will be a reception in Rød stue, Øster Voldgade 10, Area 6, First floor – everybody is welcome.

A warming climate affects the entire planet, but the Arctic experience a warming that is faster than elsewhere in  the world.  This influences several processes affecting the evolution of the Arctic coast, and increasing erosion are detected throughout large parts of these high-latitude coasts. The warming air temperature affects the soil temperature and permafrost thaws and destabilizes the material in the coastal zone. Only limited work has focused on coastal areas in Greenland and the current knowledge on these areas is sparse.

This PhD thesis investigates coastal evolution with a special focus on changes in deltaic environments both in during the Holocene and in a modern changing climate. It is demonstrated how a modern warming climate directly affects delta dynamics, and that Greenlandic deltas are prograding, contrary to the global trend showing eroding Arctic coasts. Moreover, it is revealed that the increasing proglacial freshwater runoff, caused by a lowering of the surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet is the main determining agent in delta progradation.

Finally, it is shown that beach ridges located in deltaic environments constitute a solid base for reconstruction of changes in past sea-level variation in Greenland when using ground-penetrating radar.

The thesis is available from the PhD administration office 04.1.417