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Glaciology Reading Seminar GEOS 692

This theme-based glaciology seminar is intended for graduate students or advanced undergradautes who wish to deepen their knowledge of the peer-reviewed literature in glaciology.

Spring 2012: Journal of Glaciology Issue 200: Special Review and History of Major topics in Glaciology.


Days and Time: TBD (contact Erin for "doodle" scheduler link).

Room: GI 414 (Glaciology Map Room)

Grading: Pass/Fail. To pass, you must read the article and participate in discussions (including those for which you are not the discussion leader). 

Assignments: All students must bring a list of at least 3 questions with them to the seminar each week. Students will be required to lead the discussion  (individually or in pairs) for 2-4 weekly discussions (depending on the number of students in the course). This includes:

  • Providing a ~10 minute overview of the paper (using power point slides, if necessary) that provides the context for the paper within the glaciological literature, including an emphasis on why the line of research is useful and interesting.
  • Reading any closely associated additional literature to help the group understand the research methods and conclusions.
  • Meeting with your partner (if a pair is leading the discussion) ahead of time to go over any initial questions you both have in the paper.
  • Have a list of questions to pose to the group so that the discussion can continue for the hour.

Suggested Schedule:

Week 1 (History):

  • The Journal of Glaciology: its origin and early history. Author: Glen, John W.
  • Women in glaciology, a historical perspective. Authors: Hulbe, Christina L.; Wang, Weili; Ommanney, Simon

Week 2 (Sliding and Hydrology): Bob and Trevor

  • Weertman, Lliboutry and the development of sliding theory. Author: Fowler, A.C.
  • Glacier hydromechanics: early insights and the lasting legacy of three works by Iken and colleagues. Author: Flowers, Gwenn E.

Week 3 (Ice Dynamics): Bob and Joe

  • Life, death and afterlife of the extrusion flow theory. Author: Waddington, Edwin D.
  • Second Paper?

Week 4 (Creep): Tim and Marijke

  • Creep and plasticity of glacier ice: a material science perspective. Authors: Duval, Paul; Montagnat, Maurine; Grennerat, Fanny; Weiss, Jerome; Meyssonnier, Jacques; Philip, Armelle
  • Shear resistance and continuity of subglacial till: hydrology rules. Author: Iverson, Neal R.

Week 5 (Channels): Trevor and Lee

  • Röthlisberger channel theory: its origins and consequences. Author: Walder, Joseph S.
  • Understanding jökulhlaups: from tale to theory. Authors: Björnsson, Helgi

Week 6 (Instabilities): Joe and Julia

  • Emergent drumlins and their clones: from till dilatancy to flow instabilities. Author: Clark, Chris D.
  • Second Paper: ?

Week 7 (Mass Balance): Dave  and Lee

  • Mass-balance terms revisited. Author: Cogley, J. Graham
  • Understanding ice-sheet mass balance: progress in satellite altimetry and gravimetry. Authors: Pritchard, H.D.; Luthcke, S.B.; Fleming, A.H.

Week 8 (Modeling): Marijke

  • A short history of the thermomechanical theory and modelling of glaciers and ice sheets. Authors: Blatter, Heinz; Greve, Ralf; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako
  • Possible second article: Recent advances in understanding ice sheet dynamics. Shawn J. Marshall. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Volume 240, Issue 2, 1 December 2005, Pages 191–204

Week 9 (Ice Cores): Julia and Joanna

  • Reliability of ice-core science: historical insights. Author: Alley, Richard B.
  • Possible second article:
    • Glaciochemistry of polar ice cores: a review. M Legrand and P. Mayewski. Reviews of Geophysics, 35, 3
  • OR
    • Tracer transport in the Greenland Ice Sheet: constraints on ice cores and glacial history. Nicolas Lhomme, Garry K.C. Clarke, Shawn J. Marshall. Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 173–194

Week 10 (Remote Sensing): Tim and Austin

  • Glaciological advances made with interferometric synthetic aperture radar. Authors: Joughin, Ian; Smith, Ben E.; Abdalati, Waleed
  • Recent advances in remote sensing of seasonal snow. Author: Nolin, Anne W.

Week 11 (Permafrost): Barbara and Joanna

  • Mountain permafrost: development and challenges of a young research field. Authors: Haeberli, Wilfried; Noetzli, Jeannette; Arenson, Lukas; Delaloye, Reynald; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle; Gruber, Stephan; Isaksen, Ketil; Kneisel, Christof; Krautblatter, Michael; Phillips, Marcia

Week 11b (Frost heave): Dave

  • Frost heave. Author: Rempel, Alan W.

Week 12 (Sea Ice): Austin and Barbara

  • Arctic sea-ice change: a grand challenge of climate science. Authors: Kattsov, Vladimir M.; Ryabinin, Vladimir E.; Overland, James E.; Serreze, Mark C.; Visbeck, Martin; Walsh, John E.; Meier, Walt; Zhang, Xiangdong
  • Second Article: ?

Week 13 (More Sea Ice): Tentative

  • Satellite remote sensing of sea-ice thickness and kinematics: a review. Author: Kwok, R.
  • Sea-ice models for climate study: retrospective and new directions. Authors: Hunke, Elizabeth C.; Lipscomb, William H.; Turner, Adrian K.

Past Themes:

Spring 2011: Glacier Hydrology

Spring 2009: Classice Papers in Glaciology

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