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School of Geography

Jenna Sutherland Jenna Sutherland

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Project title

Control of large proglacial lakes on past outlet glacier dynamics in New Zealand

Project overview

To investigate the interactions between proglacial lakes and outlet glaciers in New Zealand during the Last Glacial Maximum using a combination of GIS, sedimentological fieldwork and numerical modelling.

Predicting catchment scale response of alpine glaciers to future climate variability and change is important for the provision of water for drinking, irrigation, power generation, and to inform landscape stability analyses (Carrivick and Tweed, 2013). Alpine glaciers are highly sensitive to climate change but the understanding of large proglacial lakes and their associated outlet glaciers as well as the feedbacks between them is limited (Greenwood et al., 2016). New Zealand glaciers respond partly due to atmospheric controls and partly to local topographic controls; steep high-relief precipitation dominated glaciers dominate on the west coast and hanging or down-wasting valley glaciers are present on the eastern side of the main divide of the Southern Alps (Barrell, 2011). This project will unravel the balance between these two scales in of control in space and time. The spatial and temporal trends, patterns, and anomalies in glacier ice extent and thickness will determine what glaciers was doing in response to lake dynamics. This will enable the key controls on proglacial lake development to be established. The outcome of this project will be to enhance process understanding of changes in climate and ice sheet extent in New Zealand since the LGM.


  • Using the alpine geomorphology of the major glacial lakes in the Central Southern Alps of the South island, New Zealand, identify suitable palaeo-glacial evidence to determine glacier ice extent and volume changes during the LGM
  • Determine the controls of proglacial lakes through establishing the origin and evolution of sediment-landform assemblages
  • Numerically model these glaciological systems in New Zealand to represent a dynamical ice sheet with the inclusion of ice-marginal lakes and decipher the mode of deglaciation throughout the LGM


Research Affiliations


Conferences/training courses attended

  • Quaternary Research Association AGM 2016

Research publications

  • (Poster) Sutherland, J.L., Davies, B. J., Lee, J. 2016. The stratigraphic and sedimentological significance of dynamic Devensian ice flow of the North Sea Lobe. QRA ADM 2016.


  • QRA New Research Workers’ Award (2015).

Short Curriculum Vitae

  • 2014-2015 MSc Quaternary Science, class: Distinction. Royal Holloway, University of London. Dissertation: ‘The genesis and provenance of the glacigenic sequence at Tunstall, east Yorkshire’.
  • 2011-2014 BSc (Hons) Geography, class: 2.1. University of Sheffield. Dissertation: ‘A study to reconstruct the palaeo-hydrological conditions in Wedholme flow (Cumbria) to establish the link between testate amoebae and precipitation’.