Docentship lecture

  • Date: –14:15
  • Location: Geocentrum Norrland 1
  • Organiser: Institutionen för geovetenskaper
  • Contact person: Veijo Pohjola
  • Docentföreläsning

Ward van Pelt

Ward van Pelt´s docentship lecture in the subject of Earth Sciences with specialization in Physical Geography. 

Title: “Beneath the glacier surface”

Date: Thursday 16 March, 13:15-14:15

Location: Norrland I and Zoom (

Chairperson: Prof. Veijo Pohjola

Representative of the Docentship Committee: Prof. Alireza Malehmir



The glacier surface provides direct visible evidence of mass and volume change. However, without knowledge of subsurface conditions and the processes involved it would be impossible to simulate glacier geometry in a changing climate. For example, dynamical models simulating glacier development rely on knowledge of basal topography. Furthermore, numerical models simulating glacier accumulation, melt and runoff need to account for subsurface processes like refreezing and englacial water storage. Direct observations of the subsurface are, due to poor accessibility, scarce, which has stimulated the use of remote observation techniques (e.g. ground-penetrating radar), as well as inverse modelling that utilizes abundant surface data to infer subsurface conditions (e.g. ice thickness). In this lecture, I will present key subsurface processes, discuss recent research advances, and identify current knowledge gaps.