What we are researching

At the UB Glacier Modeling Lab, we study Earth’s ice sheets, especially the Greenland Ice Sheet, as well as Antarctica and past ice sheets (e.g., the Laurentide).  We ask questions about ice dynamics and the interactions between ice flow and liquid water.  How, when, and where does surface melt water get to the ice-sheet bed, and how does this affect ice dynamics?  Our primary tool is process-scale ice-sheet models, and we incorporate remote sensing data into developing these models.
Ilulissat Icefjord
Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland, where icebergs from Jakobshavn Glacier float by on their journey to the ocean.

Student research

There are opportunities for undergraduate (including gap year “research month” experiences), Master’s, and PhD work in the Glacier Modeling Lab, for students with quantitative backgrounds or interests.  If a certain research topic interests you, send me an email or drop in to my office to tell me why you’d be a good fit!

Research topics

These topics are ongoing lines of inquiry, ready to begin on, or both!

Formation of moulins
Crevasse fields
Firn aquifers
Formation and life cycle of crevasses on mountain glaciers
Seasonal movement of subsurface meltwater
Surging glaciers
Supraglacial streams and canyons
Englacial fracture network
Detection of subglacial tills
And more…
Glacier flow in Alaska
Gilkey Glacier has ogives, or flow bands, that are like tree rings: annual layers that reveal the pattern of ice flow. The glacier ice is flowing away from us.