Sliding Glaciers

What Are They Doing?

The forefield of Castleguard Glacier, Alberta, Canada, Photo by Keith WilliamsThe forefield of Castleguard Glacier, Alberta, Canada, where the team made its first measurements using the terrestrial laser scanner in the foreground. Photo by Keith Williams The team is developing mathematical relationships needed to predict the sliding speeds of glaciers and ice sheets. The uncertainty of these relationships, called siding laws, introduces major uncertainty in the results of computer models aimed at predicting ice-sheet flow and associated sea-level rise. Improved sliding laws are developed by visiting forefields of seven receding glaciers in the Swiss Alps and measuring in detail the topography of their exposed former beds. This topography is then used as the basis for computer models of glacier sliding that allow sliding laws to be derived. The field site is not in a polar region but the team's work can help predict glacial change that may occur at the poles in the future.

Where Are They?

The forefield of Tsanfleuron, one of glaciers where the team will be working.

Expedition Map

Expedition Resources

Project Information

Dates: 10 August 2018 to 28 August 2018
Location: Valais Canton of Switzerland
Project Funded Title: Collaborative research: Development of sliding laws for glacier-flow and landscape-evolution models.

Meet the Team

Lauren Neitzke Adamo's picture
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
East Brunswick, NJ
United States

Lauren Neitzke Adamo's interest in science and geology started at a young age while traveling to National Parks all over the country with her family. This love was further fostered while earning her undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Geological Sciences at Rutgers University, where her research focused on understanding the mechanisms and underlying causes of the abrupt climate change observed in sediment cores from North Atlantic Ocean over the last 200,000 years. She also spent much of her graduate career teaching science and geology to a variety of formal and informal audiences and was thrilled to accept a position at the Rutgers Geology Museum as the Associate Director in 2009 and as the Museum Director in 2016. This position allows her to combine her love of teaching, science, research, and dinosaurs through the implementation of various educational activities and programming for the Rutgers and New Jersey communities.

Neal Iverson's picture
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
United States

Neal Iverson is the Smith Family Foundation Chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences at Iowa State University. His research is devoted primarily to understanding glaciers and the spectacular imprint they leave on the landscape. Glacier dynamics and landscape modification are particularly sensitive to processes at glacier beds, which is the focus of much of his effort.

This research involves field experiments at modern glaciers, field measurements in formerly glaciated landscapes, laboratory experiments, and the formulation of models aimed at characterizing glacial processes. He and some of his former students are the 2012 recipients of the Kirk Bryan Award, given by the Geological Society of America for research that advances the field of geomorphology. More information about Dr. Iverson can be found here

Lucas Zoet's picture
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI
United States

Lucas (Luke) Zoet is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geoscience, and holds an appointment in Geological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research largely focuses on understanding the physics of glacier motion through field observation, laboratory experiments, and theoretical analysis. His work largely sits at the intersection of glaciology and glacial geology. He uses a variety of geophysical and geological methods to explore glacial processes at both modern-day glaciers and landforms left behind by since melted glaciers.

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Latest Comments

Love the idea of the flags, connecting communities to your work. By the way , I have trouble making it up my stairs with the laundry. You look great!
Thanks for the lesson. Love the visuals and the haiku
Laura, Where exactly are you located? Do you have any maps? I could post one for you if you give me location info.
I loved watching your video from Jungfraujoch on Facebook a few days ago XD It looks like you're having fun, can't wait to read more!
Now you know why I love rocks so much! Plus they tell amazing stories. I will find something small and pretty to bring back for you.