Research Fellows Directory
Ms Jacqueline Austermann
University of Cambridge
Like an iceberg floating in water, Earth’s topography has long been considered isostatically compensated: High mountains are balanced by deep crustal roots. However, we know now that because of flow in the Earth’s interior many places are out of equilibrium; they are higher or lower than they should be. This so-called “dynamic topography” plays an important role in paleoclimate research because it changes the elevation of ancient beaches, which record past sea level and ice volume variations. I study past warm periods, i.e. times during which it was slightly warmer than today, and try to understand how much sea level changed in response to this warming. My work aims to improve our estimates of dynamic topography so that we can correct paleo shorelines for this effect and reconstruct past ice sheet stability. This will provide us with important knowledge of how ice sheets and sea level will respond in our currently warming world. Additionally, it allows us to study Earth’s interior, its evolution and interaction with ice sheets such as the Antarctic ice sheet over the last few million years.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)