Investigating the influence of proglacial lakes on glacier evolution

Adrian Dye


Start Year: 2015, second cohort

Host University: The University of York

Department: Environment

Supervisors:Dr. David Rippin (York) and Dr. Rob Bryant (Sheffield)

Twitter: @MrADye1


Academic profile


BSc in Geography, University of Sheffield, 2004-2007
MSc in Polar and Alpine Change, University of Sheffield, 2014-2015

Work experience

Geography teacher for 5 years (AS level and GCSE)

Skills and relevant qualifications

Geomorphological mapping from satellite imagery

ACCE Ph.D. Research topic

Investigating the influence of proglacial lakes on glacier evolution

The presence of proglacial lakes in contact with glacier termini can enhance glacier mass loss, but the magnitude and significance of such increased rate are unknown, both in terms of the effect on individual glaciers and on glaciated regions more widely. My Ph.D. project, therefore, investigates the evolution of proglacial lakes and the influence on the melt rates in Arctic Sweden and Norway. The findings of this study will reveal the significance of this process and will also improve the robustness of future predictions of glacier retreat rates and contributions to sea-level rise, as well as freshwater inputs into the thermohaline circulation.
Initially, the Ph.D. project will use Earth Observation (EO) data to generate a high-resolution inventory of ice-contact lakes, utilising automatic techniques (such as NDWI). This would improve the capability to investigate glacier mass loss in relation to proglacial lake evolution (driven by climate) across regions that are difficult to access. This will then be used to detect and quantify dynamic changes in the lake area, volume, and depth over longer timescales.
The feedbacks within the system will be investigated through the innovative use of thermal infrared imagery (ground based) to detect changes in lake surface temperatures and glacier surface temperatures through the melt season (Aubry-Wake et al., 2015). The project may also seek to utilise other Earth Observation data and techniques in order to quantify glacier evolution (particularly mass balance and velocity) for comparing glaciers in contact with proglacial lakes and those without contact.