Climate-controlled evolution of plateau landscapes at high latitudes

PhD defence, Friday 28 April 2017. Jane Lund Andersen

2017.04.28 | Steffi Hjerrild Iversen

Jane Lund Andersen

Cosmogenic nuclides accumulate in rocks exposed near the surface of the Earth (upper 2-3 meters) as a consequence of incoming cosmic radiation created in supernova explosions. A high cosmogenic nuclide content indicates stable, slow-eroding surfaces. In southern Norway, the cosmogenic nuclide content in surface rocks on many plateaus was, in contrast, relatively low. This indicates that ice sheets and freeze-thaw processes have significantly eroded many of the plateaus during recent glacial cycles.

During her studies, Jane Lund Andersen researched the development of plateau landscapes in mountain ranges at high latitudes following freeze-thaw processes and the formation of ice sheets during the cold climate conditions prevailing in the past millions of years on Earth.

Based on computational experiments, Jane Lund Andersen showed that freeze-thaw processes can smooth out pre-existing topography and form plateau landscapes high above sea level. By measuring cosmogenic nuclides on plateaus in southern Norway it was demonstrated that surface processes have eroded these plateaus significantly during recent glacial cycles.

The research findings contribute to the understanding of the evolution of plateau landscapes at high latitudes and can potentially lead to a simpler geological model for the region.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Geoscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 28 April 2017 at 10.00
Place: Building 1671, room 137, Lecture Theatre, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, 8000 Aarhus C
Title of dissertation: Late Cenozoic landscape evolution of high-latitude mountain plateaus
Contact information: Jane Lund Andersen, e-mail:, tel.: +45 6174 0435
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Paul Bierman, Department of Geology, The University of Vermont, USA
Professor Ivar Berthling, Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Professor Anders Vest Christiansen (chair), Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor David L. Egholm, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University
Associate Professor Mads Faurschou Knudsen, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 23.02.2018