Ruby Muir

Ruby Muir


Office: CO531


BSc Victoria University of Wellington (2019)
MSc Candidate in Physical Geography

Master thesis


Modelling mountain glaciers for temperature reconstructions during the Antarctic Cold Reversal


Project objectives and description

In this research, I aim to apply a glacial model to exposure dated geological deposits left behind by a mountain glacier in Patagonia in order to reconstruct the magnitude and timing of climate change in this region during the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR). The Antarctic Cold reversal is a 2,000-year period of cooling recorded in Antarctic ice cores during the natural warming out of the last glacial maximum. It is hypothesized that significant ice sheet melt from Antarctica during this period caused Southern Hemisphere cooling. This research will provide key quantitative ACR paleotemperature estimates from South America, filling a crucial spatial gap in the paleoclimate archive.

To achieve this, developed mountain glacier modelling techniques will be applied to the Río Tranquilo valley glacier, Monte San Lorenzo; a catchment with evidence of glacial advance during the ARC and a comprehensive 10Be dated moraine chronology. The results will contribute to a broader research endeavour designed to evaluate whether the ACR was driven by Antarctic Ice Sheet melt using climate modelling tested against available quantitative paleoclimate proxies. Understanding the cause and intensity of the ACR is important for anticipating the potential climatic effects of predicted Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat.