Course Projects


PROJECT 1 Effects of bed roughness on shallow flow and time-stepping

  • PARTICIPANTS: Jacob Walter, Greg Babonis
  • ADVISOR: Ed Bueler, Andi Aschwanden
  • DESCRIPTION A current topic in ice sheet modeling is the inclusion of newly-available
    bed topography from ice-penetrating radar. A key question arises: "how does
    roughness of bedrock topography affect modeled flow and time-stepping"? This
    project will use a simple Matlab/Octave model for shallow, isothermal, threedimensional
    ice sheet flow on deliberately-rough beds to quantify this effect.
    Application to smoother-vs-rougher Antarctica beds is possible if time allows.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or Octave
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Matlab or Octave

PROJECT 2: Slippery patches in ice streams

  • PARTICIPANTS: Daniel Seneca Lindsey, Regina Carns
  • ADVISOR: Ed Bueler, Andi Aschwanden
  • DESCRIPTION What is the surface effect of "weak patches" under an ice stream? Can
    we tell the difference between bumps in the bed versus weak patches? These are
    also inverse modeling questions, but we take a first step and perform "forward"
    experiments using a flow-line Matlab/Octave model for ice streams.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or Octave
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Matlab or Octave

PROJECT 3: Borehole temperatures

  • PARTICIPANTS: Sergey Marchenko, Adam Campbell
  • ADVISOR: Andy Aschwanden
  • DESCRIPTION What can we learn from temperature profiles in bore holes? Using a
    simple 1-D heat transfer equation, we will infer the thermal regime from the
    temperature profile measured in the (N)GRIP ice core(s) in Greenland.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or Octave
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Interest in mathematical methods and some
    familiarity with Matlab programming (or Octave).

PROJECT 4: Kinematic GPS processing

  • PARTICIPANTS: Katrin Bentel, Joseph Kennedy, Bernhard Hynek
  • ADVISOR: Martin Truffer
  • DESCRIPTION We will learn how to process GPS data from moving ice to derive
    glacier velocities and variations thereof. The project involves some minor field work.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab or similar software, Linux operating system
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Some familiarity with a Linux/Unix operating
    system is beneficial. Also we will analyze data in Matlab or similar software.

PROJECT 5: Inverse modeling

  • PARTICIPANTS: Iliyana Dobreva, David Docquier
  • ADVISOR: Martin Truffer
  • DESCRIPTION We will explore inverse models to derive conditions at the base of a
    glacier from surface data. The project requires an interest in mathematical methods
    and some familiarity with Matlab programing.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Some familiarity with a Linux/Unix operating
    system is beneficial. Also we will analyze data in Matlab or similar software.

PROJECT 6: Remote sensing of glaciers

  • PARTICIPANTS:Jakob Sievers, Jeremy Fyke, Stephen Veitch
  • ADVISOR: Matthias Braun
  • DESCRIPTION We will explore the potential of different remote sensing data sets to
    derive relevant glaciological information and parameters.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Ideally ENVI/IDL or ERDAS Imagine
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic data-processing skills
    Suitable for 2-3 students

PROJECT 7: Ice sheet catchment mass balance

  • PARTICIPANTS: Ken Mankoff, Jan Lenaerts, Bob McNabb
  • ADVISOR: Ben Smith
  • DESCRIPTION We will explore inferring the mass balance of Pine Island and
    Jakobshavn glaciers based on elevation-change, ice thickness, and surface velocity
    measurements.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab (or Octave, for the ambitious)
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic data-processing skills.

PROJECT 8: Volume Change of the Kennicott Glacier from Aircraft Laser Altimetry

  • PARTICIPANTS: Pierre Pitte, Matthias Kunz
  • ADVISOR: Anthony Arendt
  • DESCRIPTION We will use recent aircraft altimetry data to calculate the elevation
    change of the Kennicott Glacier along its central flowline. Various methods for
    extrapolating to the Kennicott catchment, as well as all glaciers of the Wrangell
    Mountains, will be explored.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: ArcGIS
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic data-processing skills and familiarity with
    GIS software.

PROJECT 9: Bed profile and internal structure of the Lower Root Glacier

  • PARTICIPANTS: Alicia Rutledge, Tyler Jones, Gustaf Peterson
  • ADVISOR: Erin Pettit
  • DESCRIPTION We will collect and process data in an attempt to map the bed and
    internal structure of the Root Glacier just outside of Kennicott. We will compare
    results from 3 different frequencies (5MHz, 100MHz, and 1GHz) to get bed and
    internal structure at 3 different scales and depths.
    REQUIREMENTS: Software: Matlab; Other: Willingness to do fieldwork (rain or shine)!
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Familiarity with Matlab would make the
    processing go much more easily.

PROJECT 10: Evolution of glacial valley long profiles

  • PARTICIPANTS: Joanna Young, Richard Becker, Katie Boldt
  • ADVISOR: Bob Anderson
  • DESCRIPTION We will explore the evolution of glacial long valley profiles in the face of
    repeated glacial cycles. We will assess the dependence of the resulting valley form
    on the erosion “rules” used, the history of climate (for example, either simple
    sinusoids, or more realistic d18O forcing), and the geometry of the valley planview.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Matlab
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Some familiarity with Matlab would help,
    although we hope to develop the project in such a way that the student can be a
    simple user father than developer. Some results we will export into movies.

PROJECT 11: Surface energy balance and sensitivity of melt to climate change

  • PARTICIPANTS: Leif Anderson, Markus Engelhard
  • ADVISOR: Regine Hock
  • DESCRIPTION The project involves calculating the energy balance at the surface of a
    glacier comparing different parameterizations for various components. We will
    explore the sensitivity of energy components and glacier to melt to changes in
    meteorological input variables. Details will evolve with student interests.
  • SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: Any programming language or Matlab. Project can in
    principle also be done using spreadsheets (e.g. Excel)
  • REQUIRED STUDENT BACKGROUND: Basic knowledge of any of the software
    requirements above