The Geosciences celebrate 100 years of geography at the University of Oslo with an extraordinary program for the annual seminar. 


  • 2 PM Julian Dowdeswell: The Marine-Geophysical Signature of Past Ice Sheets
  • 3 PM Geir Hestmark: Jens Esmark's Paths to the Ice Age
  • 3.45 PM Refreshments

Julian Dowdeswell: The Marine-Geophysical Signature of Past Ice Sheets

The deglaciation of high-latitude continental shelves since the Last Glacial Maximum has revealed suites of subglacial and ice-contact landforms that have remained well-preserved beneath tens to hundreds of meters of water. Once ice has retreated, sedimentation is generally low on polar shelves during interglacials and the submarine landforms have not, therefore, been buried by subsequent sedimentation. By contrast, the beds of modern ice sheets are hidden by several thousand meters of ice, which is much more difficult than water to penetrate using geophysical methods. The marine geophysical and geological observations of submarine glacial landforms provide insight about processes that have taken place beneath former ice sheets and enhance our understanding of the form and flow of past ice masses at scales ranging from ice sheets (1000s of km in flow-line and margin length), through ice streams (100s of km long), to surge-type glaciers (10s of km long).

Julian Dowdeswell is Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Professor of Physical Geography at Cambridge University. He has more than 30 years of experience from Polar Regions. He is a glaciologist, working on the form and flow of glaciers and ice caps, their response to climate change and the links between former ice sheets. He has received several awards for his outstanding contributions in Polar research.

Geir Hestmark: Jens Esmark's paths to the Ice Age

The discovery of ice ages counts as a major breakthrough in the geosciences, as it proves that climate on Earth has been subject to dramatic changes. In April 1824 Jens Esmark, the first professor in geosciences at the University of Oslo has published a paper presenting indisputable proofs that Northern Europe had once been covered by enormous glaciers. He also developed an astronomical theory to explain the cold periods. Until recently the circumstances of Esmark's discovery has remained a mystery. However, new historical research shows how Esmark pursued several paths of inquiry that gave him the creative vision of an Ice Age during a field trip in the summer of 1823.

Geir Hestmark is a professor at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at UiO. 



NGS (Norsk Geografisk Selskap) 


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Tags: geography
Published Nov. 16, 2017 12:23 PM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2017 1:59 PM