The twenty-first century has both highlighted our need to understand glacier retreat, and provided scientists with powerful new tools to analyze our cryosphere. Despite this, many key drivers of glacier retreat remain poorly understood. This complexity is particularly apparent in Southern Patagonia, where some glaciers continue to thicken and advance, despite the overall region losing ice at the fastest rate on Earth. My dissertation explores this key question: how do the interactions between Patagonian glaciers and their surroundings modulate glacier retreat? I evaluate this question by combining high-resolution satellite imagery, lake sediment cores and field data with novel numerical modelling.

In particular, I am working on:

  • Understanding the controls on Last Glacial Maximum to present retreat of glaciers on the Argentinian side of the Southern Patagonian Icefield

  • Using lake cores from the world's largest ice-contact lake, Lago Argentino, to reconstruct lakewater glacier change and paleo-climate in southern Patagonia

  • Developing new tools and methods to measure ice flow from space, in particular through the GIV toolbox (see its own page)

  • Using a variety of computer vision and signal processing methods to improve our counting of sediment laminations, and various assicated problems

  • Understanding supraglacial landslides, and how they affect glacier flow dynamics

  • Building a database of glacier thicknesses in the Northern Andes - particularly Ecuador and Colombia

  • Modelling Patagonian glacier change and associated isostatic adjustment using the Ice Sheet and Sea Level System Model (ISSM)

  • Understanding processes at glacier-lake interfaces, and how they relate to limnological processes within the lake

I am always happy to talk about project, and to collaborate with anyone working on similar topics. If any of the above looks interesting, feel free to reach out at: vanwy048@umn.edu

Also, have a look at my publications and software pages for additional details.

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