Elizabeth Pierce

Curriculum Vitae


B.A., Williams College; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University
272 Science Center

Elizabeth L. Pierce
Visiting Lecturer in Geosciences

Glacial processes, the sedimentary record, and the paleoclimate of the Earth’s polar regions

My research applies geochronology and radiogenic isotopes in minerals and bulk sediments to constrain the subglacial geology of Antarctica and to apply this geological information to tagging paleo-iceberg discharges from the Antarctic Ice Sheet.  My primary approach is to apply the 40Ar/39Ar ages of detrital hornblende grains.  Hornblende is a relatively abundant, rock-forming mineral, that records the last major tectono-thermal event in a region.  It has been previously demonstrated that hornblende ages provide a robust division of Antarctica that conforms to the natural glacial divides around the continent.  My work is a combination of more precise documentation of the geological history, and the application of the approach to the paleoclimate related changes in the Antarctic Ice sheet.

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