Image of Camilla RootesCamilla Rootes

Improving the 3D reconstruction of palaeo ice margin geometry from geomorphology in rugged terrain

Supervisors: Prof Chris Clark and Dr Darrel Swift

Start date: Sep 2013
Funding: University of Sheffield Faculty Scholarship

Everyone who lives near the sea wants to know what global warming will do to the ice sheets and if this will affect the dryness of their front rooms. However, scientific prediction is a tricky business and requires you to know a lot about how the ice sheets, ocean and climate behave and interact. One way to find out this information is to study past ice masses. By looking at the landforms left behind by palaeo ice sheets, we can reconstruct their geometry and compare with ice core records to study how they responded to changes in the climate. My work will improve the production of the 3D ice margin reconstructions on which much of our understanding of modern and palaeo ice mass behaviour relies.

At present there are several areas of uncertainty in the process of palaeoglacial reconstruction, especially in areas of rugged terrain where many modern glaciers and ice sheets are located. I will work on both modern and palaeo ice masses to develop a methodology to produce more accurate reconstructions of palaeo ice margins from glacial geomorphology and underlying topography. Critically, I aim to determine a method for quantifying the confidence of 3D ice margin reconstructions. This will improve their testability and promote the use of quantitative methods in the comparison of ice margin reconstructions with numerical ice sheet models. Therefore, my work will contribute to reducing uncertainty in palaeo ice mass reconstruction and to improving our knowledge of the behaviour of past and present ice masses.

Visit my Website
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Research Interests:

  • Palaeoglaciology
  • Glacial Geomorphology
  • Reconstruction of palaeo ice masses

Previous Education:

BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Edinburgh (2012) First Class

Funding and Prizes:

  • Royal Scottish Geographical Society Edinburgh University Medal for 2012.
  • University of Edinburgh Institute of Geography prize for the highest grade average of the 2012 year group (including both BSc and Ma Geography students).
  • Lind Prize for the highest achieving junior honours student in geography at Edinburgh (both BSc and Ma).
  • Special merit prizes in: Oceanography; Geomorphology; Economic and Political Geography; and Astronomy.
  • Vacation Scholarship from the Carnegie Trust towards the fieldwork costs of my undergraduate dissertation.
  • Full University of Sheffield Faculty Scholarship for my PhD studies.


Address: Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.

Fax: +44 (0)114 222 7907