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Jeffrey Kavanaugh

Associate Professor


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

About Me


Research area

Glacier Dynamics, Mechanics of Unconsolidated Materials, Subglacial and Groundwater Hydrology, Permafrost and Periglacial Landscapes, Environmental Change, Glacier Response to Changing Climate, Ice Core Paleoclimatology

Research interest

Through my research, I seek to improve our understanding of glacial systems: how they flow and respond to forcings, how they interact with climate and sea level, how they archive past climates, and how they shape the landscape. My current research is focused on how mechanical conditions at the glacier bed are controlled by hydraulic conditions in the subglacial water system. Because the flow and stability characteristics of ice masses are strongly influenced by conditions at the base of the ice, this question is central to the understanding of many interesting aspects of glacier behavior, such as fast flow exhibited by surging glaciers and ice streams. Furthermore, a realistic representation of basal processes is necessary to improve the accuracy of ice sheet models. I use a variety of techniques to investigate the interactions between hydrological and mechanical conditions at the glacier bed, ranging from developing and installing novel subglacial instruments to developing and analyzing numerical models.

Research opportunity

I am currently looking for graduate students for the following projects:

  • Investigating basal processes and ice dynamics of cirque glaciers