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Audrey Dallimore receives infrastructure funding for paleoceanographic research

Dr. Audrey Dallimore, assistant professor in the School of Environment and Sustainabilty, has received a critical boost to her paleoceanographic research through infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF).

The CFI/BCKDF funded infrastructure consists of two sets of equipment:

  • A Lab in a Trailer (LITe) - a trailer customized to carry a basic suite of lightweight oceanographic and marine geologic equipment that can be deployed from a small cost-effective vessel of opportunity. LITe will enable cost effective marine surveys of the remote central coast of BC, and will be the only one of its kind on the BC coast.
  • A Geotek Multi-Sensor Core Logger MSCL-XZ system (MSCL) - state-of-the-art lab equipment, which automatically logs physical core sediment properties at high resolution. It will allow state-of-the-art sedimentological analyses to be performed on recovered sediment cores.

This infrastructure, along with a recent NSERC Ship Time grant, providing a week aboard the Coast Guard research ship Vector,  are critical to enabling Audrey to realize the objectives of her NSERC Discovery Grant, Paleoclimatic, paleoceanographic and paleoseismic history of the northern Pacific coast of British Columbia.

The five-year research program focuses on the causes, dynamics, critical thresholds and past impacts of natural rapid climate changes on time scales of human interest, and insights into the frequency of large earthquake and tsunamis events along the BC coast. It involves ocean research cruises to obtain oceanographic data and piston cores of laminated ocean sediments along the mid and northern BC coast. These data and cores are then analyzed  for clues to the functioning of the northern Pacific climate system as well as seismic activity, both what occurred in the past and what we may expect in the future. 

This knowledge is critical not only for the broad understanding of physical sciences researchers studying the Pacific Ocean, but also for planners, policy-makers and the public in order to minimize our future risk under rapid climate changes and possible large earthquake events. An improved understanding of Pacific paleoclimate is also critical for validating global and regional climate models which are currently being used to forecast future climate change.

For further information on Dallimore's research, see this recent aricle: