I am involved in three projects examining the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum and its subsequent deglaciation.
For one collaborative project, I am applying surface-exposure dating of glacial features west of Lake Superior to test the hypothesis that the eastward drainage of Glacial Lake Agassiz caused the Younger Dryas. Tom Lowell (Univ. Cincinnati) and Tim Fisher (Univ. Toledo) have conducted extensive mapping and radiocarbon dating to track the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreat pattern in this area (Lowell et al., 2009, QSR). Surface-exposure ages are being used to test the existing radiocarbon chronology. Initial results were presented at the 2013 NE GSA Meeting (Howley et al., 2013, NE GSA – Abstract). My collaborators on this project are Thomas Lowell (University of Cincinnati) and Tim Fisher (University of Toledo).
For another project, I am providing a chronology of features associated with former ice streaming flow in the southwestern sector of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. This project will provide information about the style and rate at which the Laurentide collapsed during the last deglaciation. My collaborator on this project is Thomas Lowell (University of Cincinnati).
Funding for these projects is from the Comer Science and Education Foundation.
I am also conducting research using lake and bog sediment cores to examine the late glacial and Holocene environmental and climate conditions in New England. Part of this research focuses on Glacial Lake Hitchcock, which filled the Connecticut River Valley at the end of the Last Glacial Period, and the timing of its drainage. I am using varved sediments from within modern lake basins to determine the timing of lowering and ultimate drainage of Glacial Lake Hitchcock. Initial results were presented at the 2013 NE GSA meeting (Bigl et al., 2013, NE GSA – Abstract).
Funding for this project is from Dartmouth College.