Examining a core from an over-grown crater lake -

Hilllpiece Bog - on Tristan da Cunha,

together with my PhD student Kalle Ljung (right).


Svante Björck

Professor and head of Quaternary Sciences at the GeoBiosphere Science Centre in Lund


My main research interests concern paleoclimate and paleoenvironments, incl. sea levels, of the last 150.000 years

I have often used a multi-stratigraphic approach in my studies and I have worked in different regions such as Scandinavia, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, USA, Canada and Antarctica. My present research is partly focused on complementing the areas mentioned above with an Atlantic island transect by working on The Azores, Tristan de Cunha/Nightingale Island and Isla de los Estados (Staten Island). The field-work on The Azores was carried out in 2001, and especially the results from the island of Pico was very rewarding; a first manuscript was recently published. In Febr-March 2003 unique sediments were recovered from the fantastic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Nightingale in the South Atlantic, 2800 km west-south-west of Cape Town, including one complete Holocene sequence. Much of the results were recently published by the group (K. Ljung et al.), and more is under way. One exciting result is that we have found indications of a Holocene bipolar seesaw effect between the N and S Atlantic (published in QSR). In November-December 2005 several sediment sequences were recovered from Isla de los Estados, east of Argentinian Tierra del Fuego, with >16.000 cal. yr. old profiles, which show up very promising stratigraphies. This so-called ATLANTIS project is aimed at exploring any climatic relationships, incl. leads and lags, between the northern and southern hemispheres, by detailed paleoclimatic studies of lakes and peat bogs on these islands. An additional aim is to analyse the behaviour of the NAO in a longer time perspective. As a consequence of the ATLANTIS project I have, together with American colleagues, also worked in the Caribbean; field work on Grenada was successful and the results may be of significance since the island is situated in the warm pool of the N Atlantic. An important climate sensor in the North Atlantic region is the Vatnajökull ice cap, and therefore we have recently started a project in Lake Lögurinn, east Iceland. It drains one of Vatnajökull´s most active glaciers, Eyjabakkajökull, and the laminated sediments there, abundant in tephra, will make it possible to reconstruct Vatnajökull´s Holocene discharge history. My Icelandic colleague and friend, Olafur Ingolfsson, has set up a nice home page for the project at: http://www.hi.is/~oi/lagarfljot_project.htm. 

I was always fascinated by chronologic issues/problems, lead and lag relationships, climatic events and sea level changes. The latter has resulted in much work on the Baltic Sea history, and later on relative sea level changes in S Greenland and their response to the glacial history, in collaboration with Kurt Lambeck in Canberra and not the least with our former common PhD student Charlotte Jönsson Sparrenbom (www.geol.lu.se/kvg/avhandlingar/cs_kappa.pdf), now at SGI (www.swedgeo.se) and still active with this research. Lately I have also focused on high-resolution studies of specific climatic and environmental events to understand triggers behind such events and related feed-back mechanisms. I also find it very important to mediate research results in a popular way to the public. This is especially important today with the continuous debate on Global Change related topics and peoples general interest in climatic issues.

Much of the research described above can either be seen in my or colleagues’ publication lists or by the PhD theses produced at Quaternary Sciences (www.geol.lu.se/kvg/eng/)


  Current Research Projects

*  Publications, mostly internationally peer-reviewed, and many possible to download


*  1986-1990

*  1991-1995

*  1996-2000

*  2001-2005

*  2006-2010

*  2011-

  Popular science and book reviews


All the headings above contain links to pictures or graphs. In addition I have put together


  A picture gallery from Antarctic field work experiences


  A gallery on many of my colleagues, often from field work……


*  Pictures (by B. Kromer) from field work on The Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic


*  The maps of the early Baltic stages with revised ages in cal. yr BP (a new unpublished Baltic history summary can be downloaded here and the original article can be     downloaded at http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/865/description#description)


and finally also


  Instructions on how to bend and wear down rods for the Russian sampler


Address: GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Dept. of Geology, Quaternary Sciences,

Lund University, Sölvegatan 13,, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden



E-mail: svante.bjorckgeol.lu.se


Tel: + 46 462227882


Fax: + 46 462224830





The fascinating volcanic landscape on the island of Pico, The Azores,

with Lake Caveiro seen in the middle, and the Pico volcano hidden

in the clouds in the background.



Lunds universitet

Matematik och naturvetenskap

Biologisk-geovetenskapliga sektionen

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Page is maintained by Svante Björck
Last partly modified February 2008