Beth Cowan


Office: SN
Telephone: (709) 864-
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Trevor Bell
Dr. Donald Forbes



Thesis Title

A first look at the submerged postglacial sea-level record of the Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, Nunavut

Research Description

My research focuses on mapping the lowstand sea-level event within the coastal waters of the Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island, in order to extend the record of crustal adjustment and sea-level trends. As much of the Cumberland Peninsula is experiencing relative sea level rise, the problem is that submerged shorelines currently have not been taken into account in the sea-level record, due to the lack of ocean mapping technology. Multibeam bathymetry is now available aboard the Government of Nunavut research vessel, M.V. Nuliajuk, and has been used to explore the seafloor, producing full coverage, high-resolution maps of the geomorphology. Using this technology we have been able to map many of the coastal fiords and inlets of Cumberland Peninsula, in search of submerged shorelines, including deltas, terraces and a boulder barricade. I focus on characterizing these features with reference to past sea level stands, and interpreting the differential crustal response across the peninsula. The results of this research will add to a more robust baseline for future sea-level projections of the Cumberland Peninsula region.

Research Interests

  • Coastal Geomorphology & Planning
  • Palaeogeography
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Marine Geology

Professional associations and networks

Student Memberships

  • ArcticNet
  • Association of Polar Early Scientists (APECS)
  • Canadian Association of Geography (CAG)
  • Geological Association of Canada (GAC)


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552