Meredith Kelly’s research focuses on using past glacial and ice-sheet fluctuations to understand the causes of climate change and to assess the stability of glaciers and ice sheets under a variety of climatic conditions. She also obtains and analyzes sediments from lakes that provide information about past glacial extents as well as environmental conditions. Meredith has expertise in geomorphic mapping and analyses of glacial landforms using both remote data and detailed field investigations. She relies heavily on two chronologic methods. One is known as “surface exposure-age dating” and is based on the measurement of cosmogenic nuclides, such as 10Be, produced in rocks at Earth’s surface in direct relation to the time of exposure. She also uses radiocarbon dating of organic material obtained from glacial forefields and lake sediments.
Meredith has worked on mountain glaciers in Switzerland, Peru and Uganda as well as on past ice sheet extents in Antarctic, Greenland and North America (the Laurentide Ice Sheet). Her research has contributed to the understanding of the spatial and seasonal impact of the Younger Dryas, a rapid climate event at the end of the last ice age, and the extent of warming in Greenland during the current interglacial period. Her current projects focus on 1) using Greenland mountain glaciers to understand past climate change and examining the stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet during past warm periods; 2) determining the climatic controls on tropical glaciers and the role of the tropics in the global climate system; and 3) refining the glacial geologic history of the Upper Valley.
Meredith is a Professor in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College. She runs a surface exposure-age dating laboratory and a sediment core laboratory and advises graduate and undergraduate students on projects. Meredith completed her dissertation at the University of Berne, Switzerland, in 2003. She then had the incredible opportunity to postdoc with Lonnie Thompson at The Ohio State University and travel with his group on an ice coring expedition to Peru (Quelccaya and Coropuna ice caps). Subsequently, Meredith was a postdoc at Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory.