Dr Andrew Sole

Faculty Research Fellow

Andrew Sole

Room number: F18
Telephone (internal): 27951
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 7951
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 7951
Email: A.Sole@Sheffield.ac.uk

Andrew Sole received an MA (First Class Honours) in Physical Geography from the University of Edinburgh in 2005 and a PhD in glaciology (entitled 'Investigating Greenland Outlet Glaciers') from the University of Bristol in 2010. From 2009 to 2012 Andrew worked on ‘The role of atmospheric forcing on the dynamic stability of Greenland’s outlet glaciers’ as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Andrew was awarded a Social Science Research Fellowship at Sheffield in 2012.

Research Interests

Andrew's research is focused on furthering our understanding of the mass balance and dynamic stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in a changing climate through the use of numerical modelling, satellite and airborne remote sensing and fieldwork.

Current research

The role of atmospheric forcing on the dynamic stability of Greenland’s outlet glaciers

This work aims to quantify the effect of surface generated melt-water fluctuations on ice motion at the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. There has been significant recent research focus on the role that surface melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet might play in forcing changes in its flow rate in a warmer climate. Since 2009, Andrew has been part of a team collecting ice motion, air temperature and hydrology data at both a land and ocean terminating transect of the Greenland Ice Sheet to distances of more than 100km from the ice margin. The resulting data are being used to further our understanding of the links between ice sheet hydrology and dynamics and to improve the representation these links in ice sheet models. This work has been cited in the recent draft release of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change.

Interactions between marine-terminating outlet glaciers and fjord water flow

The retreat and acceleration of Greenland Ice Sheet marine-terminating outlet glaciers, which are responsible for a large portion of the total mass lost from the ice sheet each year, have been linked to regional ocean warming. Fjords constitute an important link between these outlet glaciers and the deep ocean, however the processes controlling propagation of warm water along them to the glaciers' calving termini are poorly understood. Andrew has adapted the Bergen Ocean Model to simulate water circulation in Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord to assess the impact of regional ocean warming and increased glacier runoff on the dynamics of the glaciers which flow into the fjord.

This work has recently been supported by a 3-year (2013 – 2016) Natural Environment Research Council grant entitled 'Investigating controls on flow variability in Greenland's tidewater glaciers: the impact of runoff on fjord circulation and termini melt rates’. The primary aim of this research is to investigate how variations in ice sheet runoff perturb fjord circulation, the transport of oceanic heat along fjords, ice front melt rates and thus tidewater glacier stability. The findings will be used to inform ice sheet and ocean models which seek to simulate the evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet under climate change scenarios.