My research focuses on meltwater from both ice shelves and sea ice: where is it, how does it affect the ocean column, and do the two types of meltwater interact with each other? To answer these questions I use a combination of observations and a simple one-dimensional ocean model. I enjoy using a wide range of data sources, from the high-resolution datasets provided by ocean gliders to seal-borne tag measurements that provide rare winter-time records, and am involved with pushing new technology to gather well-resolved temporal and spatial data.
Current research projects:
Submesoscale processes in the Southern Ocean MIZ: ROAM-MIZ
2017-present, working with Sebastiaan Swart
Submesoscale processes occur on timescales of hours to days and length scales between 0.1-10 km, making them hard to observe or resolve in models. Yet when these processes occur, they result in enhanced vertical transport and so can have a large impact on long-term storage of heat and carbon in the deep ocean. This project aims to gather better observations of the submesoscale processes in the marginal ice zone, and investigate how the presence of sea ice, sea ice melt and brine formation might affect these processes.
Seasonal changes to the thermocline in the Amundsen Sea
2018-present, working with Anna Wåhlin
The depth of the thermocline controls how much heat can be transported under the ice shelf to cause basal melting. We are using mooring and tagged seal data to assess how the stratification of the water column varies throughout the seasonal cycle in the Amundsen Sea.
I have taken the Price-Weller-Pinkel 1D ocean model and developed it for use initially in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, including sea ice parameterisations and including a Kraus-Turner Turbulent Kinetic Energy style mixing scheme. Results from this model can be seen in this paper. I plan to continue developing this model, improving the sea ice parameterisation and running it for MIZ studies.
ORCHESTRA – upper ocean mixing in the Drake Passage
2017-present, working with Prof. Mike Meredith and Dr. Alex Brearley at the British Antarctic Survey
I am collaborating on the ORCHESTRA (Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transports) research project, providing an additional ocean glider to a deployment in the southern Drake Passage between November 2017 – January 2018 and analysing the resulting data to investigate upper ocean mixing across a frontal region and how it varies over the two month period.
Previous research projects:
Noble gases as tools to improve glacial meltwater identification
2016-2018, working with Prof. Karen Heywood (University of East Anglia) and Prof. Brice Loose (University of Rhode Island)
Noble gases can provide a robust signature of glacial meltwater, as there are few processes that can affect their concentrations within the ocean column. I am using the noble gas (and oxygen isotope) signatures to improve our glacial meltwater identification methods using traditional hydrographic parameters. Where the signatures differ, we can learn about the upper ocean processes causing these differences (e.g. biological activity and the influence of sea ice melt). See our results here.
2012-2017, working with Prof. Karen Heywood at the University of East Anglia and iSTAR collaborators
My PhD project was part of the iSTAR (NERC Ice Sheet Stability) Programme, focusing on understanding the causes and rates of melt of Pine Island Ice Shelf in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. I focused on how we can improve current methods of glacial meltwater identification using hydrographic measurements and identified the meltwater pathways from the ice shelf.