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Andrés Daniel Castillo Llarena





+49 421 218-65439



GEO, 5490

Andrés Daniel Castillo Llarena

PhD Project

EIS-CLIM : Solid Earth - Ice Sheet - Climate interaction in Northern Europe and Patagonia during the last deglaciation.

In the Earth’s history, the last deglaciation (18 – 7 thousand year ago) is the best documented period of climate warming of a magnitude comparable with the anticipated human-induced impacts, albeit at a 500-1000 times slower pace. It marks the end of the last ice age – the transition from a 100-thousand-year-long cold spell, when large parts of Europe and American continents were buried under 3-4-km thick ice sheets, to the warm climate of today. During this time, rapid disintegration of ice sheets did not only induce instabilities in the climate system but also activated changes within the Earth interior. On the one hand, releases of enormous amounts of freshwater and icebergs perturbed the thermohaline ocean circulation, rose the global sea level by ~120 meters and dramatically reshaped continental coastlines. On the other hand, the removal of a huge weight of ice sheets triggered a large-scale redistribution of mantle rocks within our planet and a rapid elastic uplift of the formerly glaciated lithosphere – the phenomenon of Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA). This process perturbed the crustal stress state and thermal regimes of the underlying mantle, triggering massive increases in volcanism and seismicity.

Formerly glaciated Fennoscandia and Patagonia are regions that still experience land uplift due to GIA and contain unique archives of postglacial volcanic eruptions (South America) and crustal ruptures from strong post glacial earthquakes (Northern Europe). They also represent two natural laboratories documenting the coupling between the past climate warming and solid Earth dynamics in two hemispheres. However, an interpretation of paleo-records that can aid our understanding of the coupling between climate warming, ice sheet disintegration and solid Earth responses requires the use of high-complexity models that do not yet exist.

This project has been designed to create a model that could incorporate complex physical interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, Solid Earth and evolving ice sheets and that would allow to reconstruct the distribution of former ice masses with a sufficient spatial and temporal resolution through the coupling of separate models and apply it to reconstruct the deglaciation history in Fennoscandia and Patagonia. The coupled model will be calibrated again paleo glacial, paleoclimate and geophysical constraints to generate 4D model reconstructions of the ice sheet and climate changes and compute GIA-induced perturbations in the stress and thermal regimes of the crust and underlying mantle.

This thesis will be carried out through a close collaboration between the University of Bremen (Germany) and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway). Such collaboration offers a unique combination of expertise areas and high-complexity models across the fields of paleoclimatology, glaciology, geomorphology, geochronology and geodynamics. This PhD project allows for a comprehensive treatment of the entire climate-ice sheet-lithosphere-mantle system and a joint interpretation of the multidisciplinary data.

This PhD pro­ject is fi­nan­ced by the Chi­le­an scho­lar­ship ID 72210540 (ANID)

Thesis Committee

Prof. Dr. Michael Schulz University of Bremen, MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences
Dr. Matthias Prange University of Bremen, MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences
Dr. Irina Rogozhina Norwegian University of Science and Technology