Tuesday October 19th, 2021 @ 6:30pm Virtually

Dr. Alex Simms, UCSB, will be presenting:
"Investigating the role of relative sea-level change in the retreat of a marine based ice stream in northwest Scotland."

Video Presentation

Dr. Alex Simms/ October Speaker


One of the largest uncertainties in projections of future sea-level rise is the behavior of the large ice sheets over Antarctica and Greenland. One particularly important unknown is how marine-based ice sheets respond to sea-level rise. We investigate the potential role that relative sea-level rise may have played on the retreat of the Minch Ice Stream over northwest Scotland during the most recent deglacial period from about 20,000 to 14,000 years ago. We use new relative sea-level data collected from small isolation basins from the eastern shores of the Minch to better constrain models of past sea-level change. We then use these data and model predictions to investigate the rates of sea-level change accompanying the retreat of the Minch Ice Stream. We find that the fastest retreat rates of the Minch Ice Stream occurred while the ice front was experiencing relative sea-level rise while relative sea-level fall accompanied slow rates of ice-front retreat. Our study highlights the important role that relative sea-level rise may play in the future retreat of marine-based ice streams.

Dr. Alex Simms/ October Speaker

Speaker Biography

After paying his way through a BS in Geology at Oklahoma State University working for a small oil and gas firm, Alex completed a PhD at Rice University in Houston, Texas studying the Quaternary evolution of the Texas Coast. Upon completion of his PhD, Alex returned to Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor in 2005. The call of the coast eventually caught up with him when he moved to the University of California Santa Barbara in 2010. As a sedimentologist, Alex has a particular interest in how coastlines have changed over thousands of years. He has worked on coasts across the world including Texas, Alabama, Washington, Antarctica, Scotland, and locally here in California. Occasionally that interest does led to studies of the rock record where his students have published on the Permian of Oklahoma and the Jurassic of Argentina.

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Poinsettia Pavilion
  • 3451 Foothill Rd                  Ventura, CA 93003
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