Title

Glacial Preservation: A Look inside Nature's Freezers

Date

5-31-2018 8:00 AM

End Time

31-5-2018 8:15 AM

Location

WUC Pacific Room

Session Chair

Melinda Shimizu

Session Title

Shaping our world: Glaciers and their impact on Western North America

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Melinda Shimizu

Abstract

We often hear about the geochemical data that is preserved in the neatly compacted layers of glaciers and what they tell us about past environments. What is less commonly told is the importance of the biological and organic material that gets trapped in each layer as the glacier grows. These specimens can be accessed through ice cores that are often discussed when talking about evidence glaciers, but also are found through glacial melt and retreat. One of the most famous examples of this is Ötzi the “Iceman” found in 1991, but there have been other instances of things as large as mammoths and as small as viruses that have been found amazingly preserved. A unique quality of ice preservation is that the process keeps the soft tissue intact, which provides unique clues that traditional fossils do not. Materials that have been trapped in the ice for centuries give a wealth of information that has been literally frozen in time. Every new discovery gives us further insight into our past and to what the environments might have looked like.

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May 31st, 8:00 AM May 31st, 8:15 AM

Glacial Preservation: A Look inside Nature's Freezers

WUC Pacific Room

We often hear about the geochemical data that is preserved in the neatly compacted layers of glaciers and what they tell us about past environments. What is less commonly told is the importance of the biological and organic material that gets trapped in each layer as the glacier grows. These specimens can be accessed through ice cores that are often discussed when talking about evidence glaciers, but also are found through glacial melt and retreat. One of the most famous examples of this is Ötzi the “Iceman” found in 1991, but there have been other instances of things as large as mammoths and as small as viruses that have been found amazingly preserved. A unique quality of ice preservation is that the process keeps the soft tissue intact, which provides unique clues that traditional fossils do not. Materials that have been trapped in the ice for centuries give a wealth of information that has been literally frozen in time. Every new discovery gives us further insight into our past and to what the environments might have looked like.