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Climate Change Institute

George Denton

Professor, Climate Change Institute & School of Earth and Climate Sciences

George Denton

Contact Information


Research interests

My primary interest is the geological history of large ice sheets and smaller mountain glaciers. A particular concern is the role of these ice sheets in Quaternary and late-Tertiary ice ages. Another interest is abrupt ocean-atmosphere reorganizations in glacial cycles. On going projects deal with the alpine glacier history of the Chilean Andes and the Southern Alps of New Zealand.


  • Putnam, A.E., Schaefer, J.M., Barrell, D.J.A., Vandergoes, M., Denton, G.H., Kaplan, M.R., Finkel, R.C., Schwartz, R., Goehring, B.M., and Kelley, S.E., 2010, In situ cosmogenic 10Be production rate calibration from the Southern Alps, New Zealand. Quaternary Geochronology. doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2009.12.001
  • Broecker, W.S., Denton, G.H., Edwards, R.L., Cheng, H., Alley, R.B., and Putnam, A.E., 2010, Putting the Younger Dryas event into context. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 1078-1081.
  • Hall, B.L., Baroni, C., and Denton, G.H., 2010, Relative sea-level changes, Schuchert Dal, East Greenland, with implications for ice extent in late-glacial and Holocene times. Quaternary Science Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev2010.03.013
  • Hall, B.L., Koffman, T., and Denton, G.H., 2010, Reduced ice cover on the western Antarctic Peninsula during the Medieval Warm Period. Geology 38, 635-638.
  • Kaplan, M.R., Schaefer, J.M., Denton, G.H., Barrell, D.J.A., Chinn, T.J.H., Putnam, A.E., Andersen, B.G., Finkel, R.C., Schwartz, R., and Doughty, A., 2010, Glacier retreat in New Zealand during the Younger Dryas stadial. Nature, 467, 194-199.
  • Denton, G.H., Anderson, R.F., Toggweiler, R.R., Edwards, R.L., Schaefer, J.M., Putnam, A.E., 2010, The last glacial termination. Science 328, 1652-1656.
  • Putnam, A.E., Denton, G.H., Schaefer, J.M., Barrell, D.J.A., Andersen, B.G., Finkel, R., Schwartz, R., Doughty, A.M., Kaplan, M.R., and Schluchter, C., 2010, Glacier advance in southern middle-latitudes during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Nature Geoscience 3, 700-704.
  • Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Broecker, W.S., Denton, G.H., Kong, X., Wang, Y., Zhang, R., and Wang, X., 2009, Ice age terminations. Science 326, 248-252.
  • Schaefer, J.M., Denton, G.H., Kaplan, M., Putnam, A., Finkel, R.C., Barrell, D.J.A., Andersen, B.G., Schwartz, R., Mackintosh, A., Chinn, T., and Schluchter, C., 2009, High-frequency Holocene glacier fluctuations in New Zealand differ from the northern signature. Science 324, 622-625.
  • Hall, B., Baroni, C., and Denton, G., 2008. The most extensive Holocene advance in East Greenland occurred in the Little Ice Age. Polar Research 27, 128-134.
  • Hall, B., Baroni, C., Denton, G., Kelly, M., and Lowell, T., 2008. Relative sea-level change, Kjove Land, Scoresby Sund, East Greenland: Implications for seasonality in Younger Dryas time. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 2283-2291.
  • Kelly, M., Lowell, T., Hall, B., Schaefer, J., Finkel, R.C., Goehring, B., Alley, R., and Denton, G., 2008. A 10Be chronology of lateglacial and Holocene mountain glaciation in the Scoresby Sund region, east Greenland: Implications for seasonality during late glacial time: Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 2273-2282.
  • Denton, G.H., and Broecker, W.S., 2008, Wobbly ocean conveyor during the Holocene? Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 1939-1950.
  • Huybers, P.J., and Denton, G.H., 2008, Antarctic temperatures at orbital timescales controlled by local summer duration. Nature Geoscience 1, 787-792.
  • Dieffenbacher-Krall, A.C., Vandergoes, M.J., and Denton, G.H., 2007, Inference model for mean summer air temperatures in the Southern Alps, New Zealand, using subfossil chironomids. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 2487-2504.
  • Vandergoes, M.J., Dieffenbacher-Krall, A.C., Newham, R.M., Denton, G.H., and Blaauw, M., 2007, Cooling and changing seasonality in the Southern Alps, New Zealand during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Quaternary Science Reviews 27, 589-601.
  • Schaefer, J.M., Denton, G.H., et al., 2006. Near-synchronous interhemispheric termination of the last glacial maximum in mid-latitudes. Science 312, 1510-1513.
  • Hall, B.L., Hendy, C.H., and Denton, G.H., 2006. Lake-ice conveyor deposits: Their geomorphology, sedimentology, and importance in reconstructing the glacial history of Antarctica: Geomorphology, v. 75, p. 143-156.
  • Hall, B.L., Hoelzel, A.R., Baroni, C., Denton, G.H., Le Boeuf, B.J., Overturf, B., and Topf, A.L., 2006. Holocene elephant seal distribution implies warmer-than-present climate in the Ross Sea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 103, p. 10213-10217.
  • Denton, G.H., Broecker, W.S., and Alley, R. B., 2006, The Mystery Interval 17.5 to 14.5 kyrs ago. Pages News 14, 14-16.
  • Denton, G.H. and Sugden, D.A., 2005. Meltwater features suggesting Miocene overriding of the Transantarctic Mountains in Victoria Land, Antarctica. Geografiska Annaler 87A, 1-19.
  • Denton, G.H., Alley, R.B., Comer, G., and Broecker, W.S., 2005. The role of seasonality in abrupt climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews 24,1159-1182.
  • Hall, B.L., and Denton, G.H., 2005. Surficial geology and geomorphology of eastern and central Wright Valley, Antarctica. Geomorphology 64, 25-65.
  • Presser, F., Andersen, B.G., Denton, G.H., and Schlüchter, C., 2005, Luminescence chronology of Late Pleistocene glacial deposits of North Westland, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews 24, 2207-2227.
  • Strelin, J. and Denton, G.H., 2005, Las morenas de Punta Banderas, Lago Argentino. Proceedings of the XVI Congreso Geologico Argentino, CD-ROM, Article 269, 6pp.
  • Hall, B.L., Baroni, C., and Denton, G.H., 2004, Holocene relative sea-level history of the southern Victoria Land coast, Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change 42, 241-263
  • Sugden, D.A., and Denton, G.H., 2004, Cenozoic landscape evolution of the Convoy Range to Mackay Glacier area, Transantarctic Mountains: Onshore to offshore synthesis. Geological Society of America Bulletin 116, 840-857.
  • Hulbe, C.L., MacAyeal, D.R., Denton, G.H., Kleman, J., and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Catastrophic ice-shelf breakup as the source of Heinrich-event icebergs. Paleoceanography, 19, PA1004, doi:10.1029/2003PA000890.
  • Denton, G.H. and Hughes, T.J., 2002, Reconstructing the Antarctic Ice Sheet at the last glacial maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 21, 193-202.
  • Hall, B.L., Denton, G.H., Overturf, B., and Hendy, C.H., 2002, Glacial Lake Victoria, a high-level Antarctic lake inferred from lacustrine deposits in Victoria Valley: Journal of Quaternary Science 17, 697-706.
  • Kelly, M., Denton, G.H., and Hall, B.A., 2002, Late Cenozoic paleoenvironments in southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, based on a polar glacial lacustrine deposit in western Victoria Valley. Geological Society of America Bulletin 114, 605-618
  • Marchant, D.M., Lewis, A.R., Phillips, W.M., Moore, E.J., Souchez, R.A., Denton, G.H., Sugden, D.E., N.P., Jr., Landis, G.D., 2002, Formation of pattern ground and sublimation till on Miocene glacial ice in Beacon Valley, Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Geological Society of America Bulletin 114, 718-730.
  • Hall, B.L., Denton, G.H., and Overturf, B., 2001, Glacial Lake Wright, a high-level Antarctic lake during the LGM and early Holocene: Antarctic Science 13, 53-60.
  • Moreno, P.I., Jacobson, G.L., Lowell, T.V., and Denton, G.H., 2001, Interhemispheric climate links revealed from a late-glacial cool episode in southern Chile. Nature 409, 804-809
  • Denton, G.H., and Hughes, T.J., 2000. Reconstruction of the Ross ice drainage system, Antarctica, at the last glacial maximum. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 143-166.
  • Denton, G.H., and Marchant, D.R., 2000. The geologic basis for a reconstruction of a grounded ice sheet in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, at the last glacial maximum. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 167-212.
  • Hall, B.L., and Denton, G.H., 2000. Extent and chronology of the Ross Sea ice sheet and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier along the Scott Coast at and since the last glacial maximum: Geografiska Annaler, v. 82A, p. 337-363.
  • Hall, B.L., and Denton, G.H., 2000. Radiocarbon chronology of Ross Sea drift, eastern Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Evidence for a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea at the last glacial maximum: Geografiska Annaler, v. 82A, p. 305-336.
  • Hall, B.L., Denton, G.H., and Hendy, C.H., 2000. Evidence from Taylor Valley for a grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea, Antarctica: Geografiska Annaler, v. 82A, 275-303.
  • Hendy, C.H., Sadler, A.J., Denton, G.H., and Hall, B.L., 2000. Proglacial lake-ice conveyors: A new mechanism for deposition of drift in polar environments: Geografiska Annaler, v. 82A, p. 249-270.
  • Denton, G.H., and Hall, B.L. (guest editors of special issue), 2000, Glacial and Paleoclimatic History of the Ross Ice Drainage System of Antarctica. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 139-431 and map folio.
  • Dochat, T.M., Marchant, D.R., and Denton, G.H., 2000, Glacial geology of Cape Bird, Ross Island, Antarctica. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 237-248.
  • Higgins, S.M., Denton, G.H., and Hendy, C.H., 2000, Glacial geomorphology of Bonney drift, Antarctica. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 365-389.
  • Higgins, S.M., Hendy, C.H., and Denton, G.H., 2000, Geochronology of Bonney drift, Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Evidence for interglacial expansions of Taylor Glacier. Geografiska Annaler 82A, 2/3, 391-410.
  • Conway, H., Hall, B.L., Denton, G.H., Gades, A.M., and Waddington, E.D., 1999. Past and future grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Science, v. 286, p. 280-283.
  • Denton, G.H., Lowell, T.V., Heusser, C.J., Moreno, P.I., Andersen, B.G., Heusser, L.E., Schlüchter, C., and Marchant, D.R., 1999, Interhemispheric linkage of paleoclimate during the last glaciation. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 107-153.
  • Denton, G.H., Heusser, C.J., Lowell, T.V., Schlüchter, C., Andersen, B.G., Heusser, L.E., Moreno, P.I., and Marchant, D.R., 1999, Geomorphology, stratigraphy, and radiocarbon chronology of Llanquihue drift in the area of the southern Lake District, Seno Reloncavi, and Isla Grande de Chiloé, Chile. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 167-229.
  • Denton, G.H., (guest editor of special issue), 1999, Glacial and Vegetational History of the Southern Lake of Chile. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 105-358 and map folio.
  • Andersen, B.G., Denton, G.H., and Lowell, T.V., 1999, Glacial geomorphological maps of Llanquihue drift in the area of the southern Chilean Lake District. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 155-166, with map portfolio.
  • Moreno, P.I., Lowell, T.V., Jacobson, G.L. Jr., and Denton, G.H., 1999, Abrupt vegetation and climate changes during the last glacial maximum and last termination in the Chilean Lake District: A case study from Canal de la Puntilla (410S). Geografiska Annaler 81A, 285-311.
  • Ivy-Ochs, S., Schlüchter, C., Kubik, P.W., and Denton, G.H., 1999, Moraine exposure dates imply synchronous Younger Dryas glacier advances in the European Alps and in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 313-323.
  • Lowell, T.V., Hayward, R.F., Denton, G.H., 1999, Role of climate oscillations in determining ice-margin positions. Hypotheses, examples, and implications. Geological Society of America Special Paper 337.
  • Schaefer, J.M., Ivy-Ochs, S., Wieler, R., Leya, I., Baur, H., Denton, G.H., and Schlüchter, C., 1999, Cosmogenic noble gas studies in the oldest landscape on earth: Surface exposure ages of the Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 167, 215-226.
  • Schlüchter, C., Gander, P., Lowell, T.V., and Denton, G.H., 1999, Glacially folded outwash west of Lago Llanquihue in the southern Lake District of Chile. Geografiska Annaler 81A, 347-358.
  • Summerfield, M.A., Stuart, F.M., Cockburn, H.A.P., Sugden, D.E., Denton, G.H., Dunai, T., and Marchant, D.R., 1999, Long-term rates of denudation in the Dry Valleys, Transantarctic Mountains, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica based on in-situ-produced cosmogenic 21Ne. Geomorphology 27, 113-129.
  • Sugden, D.E., Summerfield, M.A., Denton, G.H., Wilch, T.I., McIntosh, W.C., Marchant, D.R., and Rutford, R.H., 1999, Landscape development in the Royal Society Range, southern Victoria Land, Antarctica: Stability since the mid-Miocene. Geomorphology 28, 181-200.

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