Landscape changes on the North Slope of Alaska during the Last Ice Age

October 8, 2013 • Filed under: News — melanie.rohr

What did the landscape on the North Slope of Alaska really look like during the last ice age? Find out at the Oct. 11 WERC Seminar when Ben Gaglioti presents results from his research along the Titaluk River.

Friday Seminar Series

  • What: Indicators of Ice Age Climate Change on the North Slope of Alaska
  • Who: Ben Gaglioti
  • When: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11
  • Where: Duckering 535 (Note room change!)

The climate during the last ice age on the North Slope of Alaska is often depicted as dry and cold, vegetation as impoverished and stunted, and animals as large and hirsute. Here I present a more spatially and temporally animated record of landscape change during this time. The chronology of aeolian sedimentation, soil development, and wood isotopes preserved in a permafrost exposure on the Titaluk River serve as regional indicators of effective moisture and temperature changes. I present this record in the context of the Brooks Range glacial chronology, and the large mammal population in the region. I then summarize the landscape change that occurred during the rapid climate oscillation at the end of the last ice age.

A paddler looks at a permafrost section along the Titaluk River.

A paddler looks at a permafrost section along the Titaluk River. Photo by Ben Gaglioti.