Using surface roughness to explore patterns of palaeo-fast glacier flow and landscape evolution in deglaciated terrain

Studentships:A fully-funded NERC studentship is available within the Environment Department, University of York to commence doctoral study as soon as possible, but ideally by January 2015.

Value: The studentship is fully funded for 3 years. The studentship cover: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,726 per annum for 2013-2014), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Research topic: ‘Using surface roughness to explore patterns of palaeo-fast glacier flow and landscape evolution in deglaciated terrain’.  The topic of the Ph.D. is motivated by the fact that in recent years, the roughness of the bed beneath ice-sheets has been explored using radio-echo sounding (RES) techniques, and findings have been used to interpret the way in which subglacial landscapes have been formed and modified over time, thus providing insights into landscape evolution.  In this project, we propose to explore the roughness of previously glaciated terrain.  This will be carried out using a remote-sensing approach, with the application of techniques currently used for assessing roughness beneath contemporary ice-sheets.  Additionally, a range of different approaches will also be explored and developed.  We envisage being able to determine small scale variations in roughness, and to use this to interpret changing dynamic patterns of ice flow across North America and Northern Europe.

Eligibility: The studentship is available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Further information about eligibility for Research Council UK funding can be found at the following link:

Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.  A relevant Masters degree is desirable but not essential.  Experience in remote sensing and/or GIS would also be an advantage, as would a good mathematical background.  Similarly, some programming skills (e.g. in Matlab, IDL or R for example) would be of benefit.

Application: Please see: for further information for details of how to apply.  When you are ready to submit an application, please go to: and indicate that you are applying for a Ph.D. in Environmental Geography.  The deadline for applications is 31st August 2014.

Queries: If you have any queries, please contact Dr David Rippin ( in the first instance for further information.


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