Dr David Small
My research focuses on understanding how ice sheets have responded to past climate change with the aim of providing information that can help us better understand the future of the present day ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. I primarily use surface exposure dating to constrain when and how quickly past ice sheets deglaciated. By combining this information with records of past climate change we can understand how factors such as climate and topography influence the ice sheets behaviour.
My previous work has focussed on the former British-Irish Ice Sheet as part of the BRITICE-CHRONO NERC consortium. My role in this project involved numeous geochronological sampling campaigns and quality assurance of legacy geochronological data.
Currently my research is focussed on understanding the evolution of the Antarctic Ice sheets over a range of timescales (millions-of-years up until the last few thousands-of-years). This involves applying a range of geochronological methods, primarily cosmogenic nuclides but also luminescence dating, to rocks exposed at the surface and, in forthcoming years, from samples currently buried beneath the ice sheet. These samples can provide crucial information on the timing of past changes in the ice sheets configuration and answer critical questions. One such question is whether key sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet have recently been smaller-than-present. Making a contribution to answering this question is the focus of a recent NERC Independent Research Fellowship award.
Department of Geography
- 1: Callard, S. Louise, Cofaigh, Colm Ó., Benetti, Sara, Chiverrell, Richard C., Van Landeghem, Katrien J.J., Saher, Margot H., Livingstone, Stephen J., Clark, Chris D., Small, David, Fabel, Derek & Moreton, Steven G. (2020). Oscillating retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet on the continental shelf offshore Galway Bay, western Ireland. Marine Geology 420: 106087.
- 2: Roberts, D.H., O'Cofaigh, C., Ballantyne, C.K., Burke, M., Chiverrell, R.C., Evans, D.J.A., Clark C.D., Duller,G.A.T., Ely, J., Fabel, D., Small, D., Smedley, R. K. & Callard, S.L. (2020). The deglaciation of the western sector of the Irish Ice Sheet from the inner continental shelf to its terrestrial margin. Boreas 49(3): 438-460.
- 3: Small, D., Pittard, M., Whitehouse, P., Jones, R. & Bentley, M. (2019). Antarctic ice sheet palaeo-thinning rates from vertical transects of cosmogenic exposure ages. Quaternary Science Reviews 206: 65-80.
- 4: Ely, Jeremy C., Clark, Chris D., Small, David & Hindmarsh, Richard C. A. (2019). ATAT 1.1, the Automated Timing Accordance Tool for comparing ice-sheet model output with geochronological data. Geoscientific Model Development 12(3): 933-953.
- 4: Wilson, Peter, Ballantyne, Colin K., Benetti, Sara, Small, David, Fabel, Derek & Clark, Chris D. (2019). Deglaciation chronology of the Donegal Ice Centre, north‐west Ireland. Journal of Quaternary Science 34(1): 16-28.
- 6: Bradwell, Tom, Small, David, Fabel, Derek, Smedley, Rachel K., Clark, Chris C., Saher, Margot H., Callard, S. Louise, Chiverrell, Richard C., Dove, Dayton, Moreton, Steven G., Roberts, David H., Duller, Geoff A.T. & Ó Cofaigh, Colm (2019). Ice-stream demise dynamically conditioned by trough shape and bed strength. Science Advances 5(4): eaau1380.
- 7: Jones, R.S., Small, D., Cahill, N., Bentley, M.J. & Whitehouse, P.L. (2019). iceTEA: Tools for plotting and analysing cosmogenic-nuclide surface-exposure data from former ice margins. Quaternary Geochronology 51: 72-86.
- 8: Jones, R.S., Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J., Small, D. & Dalton, A.S. (2019). Impact of glacial isostatic adjustment on cosmogenic surface-exposure dating. Quaternary Science Reviews 212: 206-212.
- 9: Bradwell, Tom, Small, David, Fabel, Derek, Clark, Chris D., Chiverrell, Richard C., Saher, Margot H., Dove, Dayton, Callard, S. Louise, Burke, Matthew J., Moreton, Steven G., Medialdea, Alicia, Bateman, Mark D., Roberts, David H., Golledge, Nicholas R., Finlayson, Andrew, Morgan, Sally & Cofaigh, Colm Ó (2019). Pattern, style and timing of British–Irish Ice Sheet retreat: Shetland and northern North Sea sector. Journal of Quaternary Science
- 10: Ely, J.C., Clark, C.D., Hindmarsh, R.C.A, Hughes, A.L.C, Greenwood, S.L., Bradley, S.L., Gasson, E., Gregoire, L., Gandy, N., Stokes, C.R. & Small, D. (2019). Recent progress on combining geomorphological and geochronological data with ice 1 sheet modelling, demonstrated using the last British-Irish Ice Sheet. Journal of Quaternary Science
- 11: Ballantyne, Colin K. & Small, David (2019). The Last Scottish Ice Sheet. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 110(1-2): 93-131.
- 12: Callard, S.L., Ó Cofaigh, C., Benetti, S., Chiverrell, R.C., Van Landeghem, K.J.J., Saher, M.H., Gales, J.A., Small, D., Clark, C.D., Livingstone, S.J., Fabel, D. & Moreton, S.G. (2018). Extent and retreat history of the Barra Fan Ice Stream offshore western Scotland and northern Ireland during the last glaciation. Quaternary Science Reviews 201: 280-302.
- 13: Chiverrell, R. C., Smedley, R. K., Small, D., Ballantyne, C. K., Burke, M. J., Callard, S. L., Clark, C. D., Duller, G. A. T., Evans, D. J. A., Fabel, D., van Landeghem, K., Livingstone, S., Ó Cofaigh, C., Thomas, G. S. P., Roberts, D. H., Saher, M., Scourse, J. D. & Wilson, P. (2018). Ice margin oscillations during deglaciation of the northern Irish Sea Basin. Journal of Quaternary Science 33(7): 739-762.
- 14: Small, D., Smedley, R.K., Chiverrell, R.C., Scourse, J.D., Ó Cofaigh, C., Duller, G.A.T., McCarron, S., Burke, M.J., Evans, D.J.A., Fabel, D., Gheorghiu, D.M., Thomas, G.S.P., Xu, S. & Clark, C.D. (2018). Trough geometry was a greater influence than climate-ocean forcing in regulating retreat of the marine-based Irish-Sea Ice Stream. Geological Society of America Bulletin 130(11-12): 1981-1999.
- 15: Small, D., Benetti, S., Dove, D., Ballantyne, C.K., Fabel, D., Clark, C.D., Gheorghiu, D.M., Newall, J. & Xu, S. (2017). Cosmogenic exposure age constraints on deglaciation and flow behaviour of a marine-based ice stream in western Scotland, 21–16 ka. Quaternary Science Reviews 167: 30-46.
- 16: Small, D, Clark, C.D, Chiverrell, R.C, Smedley, R.K, Bateman, M.D, Duller, G.A.T, Ely, J.C, Fabel, D, Medialdea, A & Moreton, S.G (2017). Devising quality assurance procedures for assessment of legacy geochronological data relating to deglaciation of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet. Earth-Science Reviews 164: 232-250.
- 17: Smedley, R.K., Chiverrell, R.C., Ballantyne, C.K., Burke, M.J., Clark, C.D., Duller, G.A.T., Fabel, D., McCarroll, D., Scourse, J.D., Small, D. & Thomas, G.S.P. (2017). Internal dynamics condition centennial-scale oscillations in marine-based ice-stream retreat. Geology 45(9): 787-790.
- 18: Smedley, R. K., Scourse, J. D., Small, D., Hiemstra, J. F., Duller, G. A. T., Bateman, M. D., Burke, M. J., Chiverrell, R. C., Clark, C. D., Davies, S. M., Fabel, D., Gheorghiu, D. M., McCarroll, D., Medialdea, A. & Xu, S. (2017). New age constraints for the limit of the British-Irish Ice Sheet on the Isles of Scilly. Journal of Quaternary Science 32(1): 48-62.
- 19: Small, D., Rinterknecht, V., Austin, W.E.N., Bates, R., Benn, D.I., Scourse, J.D., Bourlès, D.L. & Hibbert, F.D. (2016). Implications of 36Cl exposure ages from Skye, northwest Scotland for the timing of ice stream deglaciation and deglacial ice dynamics. Quaternary Science Reviews 150: 130-145.
- 20: Small, D. & Fabel, D. (2016). Was Scotland deglaciated during the Younger Dryas?. Quaternary Science Reviews 145: 259-263.
- 21: Small, D & Fabel, D (2015). A Lateglacial10Be production rate from glacial lake shorelines in Scotland. Journal of Quaternary Science 30(6): 509-513.
- 22: Small, D, Austin, W.E.N & Rinterknecht, V (2013). Freshwater influx, hydrographic reorganization and the dispersal of ice-rafted detritus in the sub-polar North Atlantic Ocean during the last deglaciation. Journal of Quaternary Science 28(5): 527-535.
- 23: Small, D., Parrish, R. R., Austin, W. E. N., Cawood, P. A. & Rinterknecht, V. (2013). Provenance of North Atlantic ice-rafted debris during the last deglaciation--A new application of U-Pb rutile and zircon geochronology. Geology 41(2): 155.
- 24: Small, D, Rinterknecht, V, Austin, W.E.N, Fabel, D, Miguens-Rodriguez, M & Xu, S (2012). In situ cosmogenic exposure ages from the Isle of Skye, northwest Scotland: implications for the timing of deglaciation and readvance from 15 to 11 ka. Journal of Quaternary Science 27(2): 150-158.
- 25: Austin, W.E.N, Telford, R.J, Ninnemann, U.S, Brown, L, Wilson, L.J, Small, D & Bryant, C.L (2011). North Atlantic reservoir ages linked to high Younger Dryas atmospheric radiocarbon concentrations. Global and Planetary Change 79(3-4): 226-233.
- 26: Fabel, Derek, Small, David, Miguens-Rodriguez, Maria & Freeman, Stewart P. H. T. (2009). Cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages from the ‘Parallel Roads’ of Glen Roy, Scotland. Journal of Quaternary Science 25(4): 597-603.
- 2020: NERC Independent Research Fellowship