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MSc. thesis project suggestions

On this page we will continuously post new suggestions for MSc. thesis projects (GEOR02, 45 credits). The latest suggestions are at the top and posts will be removed as they become obsolete. Contact the main supervisor if you are interested. You can also at any time, based on your own interests, discuss different possibilities with your teachers. You can see examples of previous MSc. theses here.


A drainage event of ancient Lake Siljan at Åkerö in Leksand, Dalarna  – a scenario test

The Siljan area, situated in the central part of Dalarna, south-central Sweden, is of remarkable geologic interest. Besides being the site of a major meteorite impact during the Devonian, the area displays a spectacular array of Quaternary sediments and landforms, and a complex deglaciation history. At the deglaciation the Ancylus Lake inundated the area, forming a highest shoreline in the southeast around Leksand at c. 205 m above present sea level (a.s.l.)., while the highest shore line in the northwesr formed at c. 220 m a.s.l. due to the differential isostatic uplift.

When the Siljan – Orsasjön lake basins became isolated from the Baltic it had an outflow (River Dalälven) through the now dry so-called ’Åkerö channel’, just south of Leksand at 168.5 m a.s.l., according to von Post (1934). von Post then argued that there was a later, more or less catastrophic relocation of the outlet around 6500 years ago, when Dalälven found a new route slightly to the north, the outlet of today, and the lake level fell by 5-6 m.

The MSc. project will be part of an ongoing project, see more information here, and will specifically test the drainage scenario described above. It will center on an infilled lake succession, c. 2 km south of the Åkerö channel. The project starts with field work coring this basin. The sediment sequence will be investigated stratigraphically by means of lithological description, magnetic susceptibility and XRF analysis for identification of the level of the drainage event. However, the exact methodology may be subject to some modification following core retrieval. The sediments will also be dated by radiocarbon for comparison of a possible isolation age estimate with data that we have already obtained from a sediment record in the nearby Åkerö channel.

Supervisors: Per Möller, Dan Hammarlund and Karl Ljung

Date added: 2019-01-25


Solar storms in a paleoperspective

The recent discovery of abrupt short-term radionuclide production rate increases received considerable attention since they can be related to enormous solar storms (see e.g. ).  Such an event could have devastating effects on our technological infrastructure today. Significant efforts are nowadays focusing on high-resolution (annual) 14C measurements in tree rings to identify more of such events. However, ice core 10Be and 36Cl records have the potential to (i) increase the possibility for more reliable detection of such strong solar storm events and (ii) characterise such events in terms of number of particles and energy.

The master thesis will focus on the investigation of potential new solar storm events. It will likely involve ice core sampling at the ice core storage in Copenhagen and it will involve 10Be and 36Cl sample preparation at Lund University. The analysis will include an assessment of the likelihood of the identification of new solar storm event and an assessment of its characteristics.

Supervisors: Raimund Muscheler, Florian Mekhaldi

Date added: 2019-01-24


Veiki moraines and pre-LGM glacial history in northern Scandinavia

The Veiki moraine plateaux of northern Sweden are interpreted as ice-walled lake plains formed during a pre-LGM deglaciation, although both their age and formation process are debated.

The task of the student will be to characterise the geomorphology and internal structure of a number of Veiki moraine plateaux in the Junosuando area, northern Sweden. This will be done by analysing existing ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data and digital elevation models (DEM) and to carry out fieldwork to support the GPR and DEM interpretations. Key questions to answer include: How were these Veiki moraines formed? What do they tell us about the extent and dynamics of the ice sheet that formed them?

The master thesis project would be part of a research project dealing with the glacial history of northern Sweden funded by the Geological Survey of Sweden and led by Helena Alexanderson. The project involves collaboration between Lund University, Stockholm University and UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Supervisor: Helena Alexanderson

Date added: 2018-12-13


Dating Late Quaternary glaciations in the Tatra Mountains, Slovakia

Glacifluvial deposits in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains are the result of multiple glaciations in these mountains during the Quaternary. However, without knowing the age of these deposits they cannot be correlated to other records of glaciation nor used for detailed reconstructions of glacial history. The aim of this master project is to date sediments from the Stará Lesná site in Slovakia by luminescence dating and to put these deposits in a regional context. The focus of the project will be luminescence dating (in the Lund Luminescence Laboratory), but complementary field work in Slovakia will be carried out. The master project is part of a larger research project, led by Prof. Janočko, in which the deposits are also studied by sedimentological facies analysis, shallow seismics, digital elevation models and laser scanning to determine depositional processes and reconstruct palaeoenvironments.

Supervisor: Helena Alexanderson; co-supervisor: Juraj Janočko, Technical University in Kosice, Slovakia

Date added: 2018-11-29


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