Heinrich event ocean circulation and iceberg melting in the North Atlantic during the last glacial period



The long-term climate decline during the last glacial period was punctuated by Heinrich events, collapses of ice sheets around the North Atlantic, and pronounced temperature swings. Competing theories exist on a central question of Heinrich events – whether the freshwater from icebergs led to a slowdown in the overturning circulation or the other way around. A precise sequence of events is crucial to answering this question. Here we propose using three ODP and IODP cores forming a transect across the North Atlantic to reconstruct iceberg flux with 230Thxs-based ice rafting flux and overturning circulation with kinematic water mass tracer Pa/Th during the last glacial period. This project will resolve the sequence of changes during Heinrich events, and advance our understanding of how abrupt climate change unfolds.



I was first exposed to Earth science through a fascinating introductory oceanography course taught by professor Will Berelson at the University of Southern California. I was further drawn into paleoceanography through a summer fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with the wonderful Delia Oppo and Jake Gebbie. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where I work with Jerry McManus on Heinrich events, episodes of abrupt climate change caused by armadas of icebergs discharged into the North Atlantic. Besides the incredible science, my love for paleoceanography also stems from the supportive and generous community of researchers whom I get to work with.