Kurt H Kjaer

Kurt H Kjaer
University of Copenhagen · Anthropocene and Quaternary Research Group, Center for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark

PhD

About

155
Publications
52,318
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9,186
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - August 2015
University of Copenhagen
Position
  • Research Director

Publications

Publications (155)
Article
Full-text available
To date the final stage in deglaciation of the Greenland shelf, when a contiguous ice sheet margin on the inner shelf transitioned to outlet glaciers in troughs with intervening ice-free areas, we generated cosmogenic 10Be dates from bedrock knobs on six outlying islands along a stretch of 300 km of the southwestern Greenland coast. Despite 10Be in...
Article
Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glaci...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers and ice caps peripheral to the main Greenland Ice Sheet contribute markedly to sea-level rise1–3. Their changes and variability, however, have been difficult to quantify on multi-decadal timescales due to an absence of long-term data⁴. Here, using historical aerial surveys, expedition photographs, spy satellite imagery and new remote-sensi...
Article
Full-text available
Tidewater glacier velocity and mass balance are known to be highly responsive to terminus position change. Yet it remains challenging for ice flow models to reproduce observed ice margin changes. Here, using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM; Larour et al. 2012), we simulate the ice velocity and thickness changes of Upernavik Isstrøm (north-western...
Article
Greenland’s contribution to future sea-level rise remains uncertain and a wide range of upper and lower bounds has been proposed. These predictions depend strongly on how mass loss—which is focused at the termini of marine-terminating outlet glaciers—can penetrate inland to the ice-sheet interior. Previous studies have shown that, at regional scale...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate quantification of the millennial-scale mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to global sea-level rise remain challenging because of sparse in situ observations in key regions. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is the ongoing response of the solid Earth to ice and ocean load changes occurring since the Last Gl...
Article
Full-text available
During the Last Glacial Maximum, continental ice sheets isolated Beringia (northeast Siberia and northwest North America) from unglaciated North America. By around 15 to 14 thousand calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal. kyr bp), glacial retreat opened an approximately 1,500-km-long corridor between the ice sheets. It remains unclear whe...
Article
Full-text available
Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) play a prominent role in glaciological studies for the mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. By providing a time snapshot of glacier geometry, DEMs are crucial for most glacier evolution modelling studies, but are also important for cryospheric modelling in general. We present a historical medium-resolution DEM an...
Data
Here, we present a medium-resolution DEM and orthophotographs that consistently cover the entire surroundings and margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet 1978-1987. About 3,500 aerial photographs of Greenland are combined with field surveyed geodetic ground control to produce a 25 m gridded DEM and a 2 m black-and-white digital orthophotograph. Supporti...
Article
Full-text available
Observations over the past 2 decades show substantial ice loss associated with the speed-up of marineterminating glaciers in Greenland. Here we use a regional three-dimensional outlet glacier model to simulate the behaviour of Jakobshavn Isbræ (JI) located in western Greenland. Our approach is to model and understand the recent behaviour of JI with...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge about the Holocene evolution of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is important to put the recent observations of ice loss into a longer-term perspective. In this study, we use six new threshold lake records supplemented with two existing lake records to reconstruct the Holocene ice marginal fluctuations of the Qassimiut lobe (QL) – one of th...
Article
Full-text available
Surging glaciers are potential analogues for land-terminating palaeo-ice streams and surging ice sheet lobes, and research on surge-type glaciers is important for understanding the causal mechanisms of modern and past ice sheet instabilities. The geomorphic signatures left by the Icelandic surge-type glaciers vary and range from glaciotectonic end...
Article
The response of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) to changes in temperature during the twentieth century remains contentious, largely owing to difficulties in estimating the spatial and temporal distribution of ice mass changes before 1992, when Greenland-wide observations first became available. The only previous estimates of change during the twentie...
Article
Full-text available
The Younger Dryas (YD) is a well-constrained cold event from 12,900 to 11,700 years ago but it remains unclear how the cooling and subsequent abrupt warming recorded in ice cores was translated into ice margin fluctuations in Greenland. Here we present 10Be surface exposure ages from three moraines in front of local glaciers on a 50 km stretch alon...
Article
Full-text available
Observations over the past two decades show substantial ice loss associated with the speedup of marine terminating glaciers in Greenland. Here we use a regional 3-D outlet glacier model to simulate the behaviour of Jakobshavn Isbræ (JI) located in west Greenland. Using atmospheric and oceanic forcing we tune our model to reproduce the observed fron...
Article
Full-text available
Time-series of digital elevation models (DEMs) of the forefield of the Brúarjökull surge-type glacier in Iceland were used to quantify the volume of material that was mobilized by the 1963-1964 surge. The DEMs were produced by stereophotogrammetry on aerial photographs from before the surge (1961) and after (1988 and 2003). The analysis was perform...
Article
Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or extern...
Article
Full-text available
To determine the long-term sensitivity of the Greenland ice sheet to a warmer climate, we explored how it responded to the Holocene thermal maximum (8-5 cal. kyr B.P.; calibrated to calendar years before present, i.e., A.D. 1950), when lake records show that local atmospheric temperatures in Greenland were 2-4 °C warmer than the present. Records fr...
Poster
Here we present a DEM of Greenland covering all ice-free terrain and the margins of the GrIS and local glaciers and ice caps. The DEM is based on the 3534 photos used in the aero-triangulation which were recorded by the Danish Geodata Agency (then the Geodetic Institute) in survey campaigns spanning the period 1978-1987. The GrIS is covered tens of...
Article
Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on chemical data of two sediment cores from an urban freshwater lake in Copenhagen, Denmark. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanning provided the underlying datasets on 13 variables (Si, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Cd, and Pb). Principal component analysis helped to trace geochemical patter...
Article
Full-text available
Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance on the decadal scale. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term d...
Conference Paper
Industrialization including the effects of expanding energy consumption and metallurgy production as well as population growth and demographic pressure increased heavy-metal pollution loads progressively since the Industrial Revolution. Especially the burning of fossil fuels mobilizes heavy metals like lead and zinc on a large scale. By wet and dry...
Conference Paper
Current model estimates of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are almost entirely based on coarse grids (>10km) and constrained by climate models that span from 60s to present. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data record that reveals the mass balance beyond decadal timescale is required. Here, we use a continuous 171 yea...
Article
Full-text available
Tidewater glaciers in Greenland experienced widespread retreat during the last century. Information on their behaviour prior to this is often poorly constrained due to lack of observations, while determining the drivers prior to instrumental records is also problematic. Here we present a record of the dynamics of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia (KNS), sout...
Article
Full-text available
The Greenland ice sheet has been one of the largest contributors to global sea-level rise over the past 20 years, accounting for 0.5 mm yr−1 of a total of 3.2 mm yr−1. A significant portion of this contribution is associated with the speed-up of an increased number of glaciers in southeast and northwest Greenland. Here, we show that the northeast G...
Data
Full-text available
1.0 Ice Sheet Wide Elevation Changes, 2.0 GPS data, 3.0 NEGIS regional analysis, 4.0 Climate data, 5.0 References.
Article
Full-text available
Observations over the past decade show significant ice loss associated with the speed-up of glaciers in southeast Greenland from 2003, followed by a deceleration from 2006. These short-term, episodic, dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance on the decadal scale. To improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term d...
Article
Full-text available
Although it is generally agreed that the Arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of Arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we also...
Article
Full-text available
The rich fossil record of equids has made them a model for evolutionary processes. Here we present a 1.12-times coverage draft genome from a horse bone recovered from permafrost dated to approximately 560-780 thousand years before present (kyr bp). Our data represent the oldest full genome sequence determined so far by almost an order of magnitude....
Article
Full-text available
Plant and animal biodiversity can be studied by obtaining DNA directly from the environment. This new approach in combination with the use of generic barcoding primers (metabarcoding) has been suggested as complementary or alternative to traditional biodiversity monitoring in ancient soil sediments. However, the extent to which metabarcoding truly...
Conference Paper
Observations over the past decade show huge ice loss associated with speeding up of glaciers in southeast Greenland in 2003, followed by a deceleration in 2006. These short-term episodic dynamic perturbations have a major impact on the mass balance at decadal scale. However, to improve the projection of future sea level rise, a long-term data recor...
Conference Paper
Situated on the southeast coast of Greenland, the Helheim glacier is a major contributor of ice discharge and a milestone glacier in regards to understanding ice sheet dynamics to climate forcing. Within the last decade, the glacier has responded rapidly with retreat and increased calving to rising temperatures and inflow of warm oceanic water. Evi...
Conference Paper
The impact of mass loss from the Greenland Ice sheet (GrIS) on the 20th Century sea level rise (SLR) has long been subject to immense discussions. While globally distributed tide gauges suggest SLR of 15-20 cm computing the input constituents is of great concern - in particular for modeling sea level projections into the 21st Century. Estimates of...
Poster
Northern hemisphere temperatures reached their Holocene minimum and most glaciers reached their maximum during The Little Ice Age (LIA), but the timing of specific cold intervals is site-specific. In southern Greenland, we have compiled data from organic matter incorporated in LIA sediments, used as a signal for ice-free terrain being overridden by...
Article
Glaciomarine sediments represent valuable archives of climate and glacier variability in the arctic environment. Especially the fjords along Greenland's east coast represent a dynamic and complicated system, influenced by regional ocean circulation, local currents and by glacier terminations. Therefore, they represent appropriate locations for sedi...
Article
In the Early Holocene the margins of the Greenland ice sheet were under rapid retreat and huge amounts of deglacial sandy sediments accumulated in front of the glaciers in fluvial and nearshore marine environments. In southern West Greenland C14-ages indicate peak sedimentation in the period between c. 11.2 and 8.5 kaBP - the time period when most...
Article
In 2011 cores from the Torqulertivit Imiat (TI) threshold lake in SE Greenland were retrieved to constrain the Holocene glaciation history of the Greenland ice sheet. The cores were analysed using XRF core scanning, magnetic susceptibility, loess-on-ignition, and grain-size analysis. A total of 20 terrestrial macrofossils and bulk sediment samples...
Article
Full-text available
[1] We estimate ice volume change rates in the northwest Greenland drainage basin during 2003–2009 using Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimeter data. Elevation changes are often reported to be largest near the frontal portion of outlet glaciers. To improve the volume change estimate, we supplement the ICESat data with alti...
Article
We estimate the mass loss rate of Upernavik Isstrøm (UI) using surface elevation changes between a SPOT 5 Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from 2008 and NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) data from 2010. To assess the validity of our mass loss estimate, we analyze GPS data between 2007 and 2011 from two continuous receivers, UPVK and SRMP which...
Article
Full-text available
Although recent ecological changes are widespread in Arctic lakes, it remains unclear whether they are more strongly associated with climate warming or the deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from anthropogenic sources. We developed a 3500-yr paleolimnological record from the world's northernmost lake to explore this question. Microfossils indicat...
Article
Full-text available
Birks et al. question our proposition that trees survived the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Northern Scandinavia. We dispute their interpretation of our modern genetic data but agree that more work is required. Our field and laboratory procedures were robust; contamination is an unlikely explanation of our results. Their description of Endletvatn a...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is predicted to have a profound impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise. Recent mass loss in the northwest of Greenland has been substantial. Using aerial photographs, we produced digital elevation models and extended the time record of recent observed marginal dynamic thinning back to the mid-...
Conference Paper
Demographic pressure including the effects of industrialisation, population growth and urbanisation had increased heavy-metal pollution loads progressively since the Industrial Revolution. However, the first periodical environmental monitoring approaches to identify these contaminations were not carried out before the early 1970s. Therefore, sedime...