|£37,099 to £45,585 Grade 7, per annum (pro-rata) depending on experience, with potential to progress to £49,794 pa
|7th December 2023
|5th February 2024
We are seeking to recruit a Research Associate to conduct an Antarctic-wide remote sensing survey to map surface meltwater and quantify its impact on ice flow, and take part in fieldwork on an Antarctic Peninsula outlet glacier to measure at high spatial and temporal resolution how ice flow varies during surface melting. You will join a three-year project, jointly funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the US National Science Foundation, aimed at observing and understanding the impact of surface meltwater on the flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Surface melting is widespread around the periphery of Antarctica and is predicted to increase significantly. If this surface-derived meltwater reaches the ice-sheet bed, it could modify glacier flow into the ocean. This mechanism, though well-established elsewhere, has received little attention in Antarctica, partly because evidence for it happening today has only recently been published. This mechanism is likely to become increasingly important as Antarctica warms and we will take the first steps towards understanding and predicting these changes.
Our field campaign on Flask Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula, supported by the British Antarctic Survey, will test the hypothesis that meltwater reaching the bed temporarily accelerates the flow of Antarctic outlet glaciers using a combination of well-established and more experimental techniques. Immediate outcomes will include a direct comparison of in situ melt rates (from energy-budget weather stations), ice dynamic changes (from Global navigation satellite system receivers and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles) and subglacial water flow (from passive seismometers and Autonomous phase-sensitive Radio-Echo Sounding). We will also update and improve a continent-wide remote sensing survey, using synthetic aperture radar and multi-spectral imagery to comprehensively map meltwater on grounded ice (most similar efforts have focused on floating ice shelves) and short-term ice velocity variations.
There is rapid growth in the glaciology community’s interest in surface melting and hydrology on Antarctic ice shelves. This project will take the discipline in a new, but related direction and make important progress in understanding the different processes involved in the response of grounded ice to increasing melt rates.
The position will be based in Sheffield working with Andrew Sole, Stephen Livingstone and Jeremy Ely, with close collaboration with Kate Winter (Northumbria University) and Jonathan Kingslake, Nick Frearson, Isabel Cordero and a PDRA (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). More information about the project can be found here.
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