Understanding and predicting the behaviour of ice sheets is a major challenge for today's scientists.

PhD student Nico Dewald
Nico Dewald
PhD student
Supervised by Professor Chris Clark
Subglacial drainage networks of the last Scandinavian Ice Sheet.

Current research

The landmasses of Greenland and Antarctica are covered by vast amounts of ice. These ice sheets are important components of our global climate system and to understand and predict their behaviour is a major challenge for today's scientists. An important factor influencing the dynamics of ice sheets is the geometry of their subglacial drainage system. However, restricted access to these systems makes direct observations challenging, allowing only limited insights in both time and space.
The study of palaeo-ice sheets, i.e. the study of landforms left by ice sheets that existed in the past, has the potential to close this gap due to the widespread occurrence of landforms formed over 1000s of years. These landforms offer the opportunity to study long-term and large-scale geometries of past subglacial drainage systems.
In my PhD, I'm using high-resolution (1-2m) digital elevation models to map and analyse subglacial drainage networks of the former Scandinavian Ice Sheet. This will advance our understanding of the tempo-spatial evolution of these intricate systems and eventually contribute to our comprehension of the two remaining ice sheets on this planet.


Professor Chris Clark
Dr. Stephen Livingstone
Dr. Jeremy Ely



Research interests

  • Palaeoenvironments
  • Glacial Geomorphology
  • Quaternary Geology

Academic background

MSc Earth Sciences - Geology of Sedimentary Systems
Heidelberg University, Germany
Thesis: Early Pleistocene Glacial-Interglacial Cycles and Millennial-scale Climate Variability in the Qaidam Basin, China

BSc Earth Sciences - Geology
Heidelberg University, Germany
Thesis: Geologie der Diersburg-Scherzone südlich von Durbach (Nord-Schwarzwald)

Member of the Quaternary Research Association.


GEO262 - Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing

GEO113 - Earth, Wind, Fire and Ice


Email: ndewald1@sheffield.ac.uk

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