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School of Geography

Owen King Owen King

Contact details


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

Email:
gy08ok

Telephone:

Early detection of Himalayan glacial lake development using remote sensing methods

Start date: October 2014

Project overview

Glacier recession in the eastern Himalaya is leading to the formation of potentially dangerous moraine-impounded and supraglacial lakes on many debris-covered glacier tongues (Gardelle et al., 2011; Figure 1). Previous work has shown that the surface gradient of the glacier and information on glacier velocity can be used to identify those glaciers particularly vulnerable to glacial lake formation over an expected decadal timescale (Quincey et al., 2007) and that glacier surface topography and morphology can inform predictions of exact lake locations (Frey et al., 2010). This project will advance this knowledge by using new remote sensing datasets (e.g. multitemporal digital elevation models (DEMs) and fine resolution image data) to extract information on present and past glacier flow and changes in surface elevation, as well as moraine dam geometry, glacier hydrology and surface morphology.

Our preliminary research questions are:

  • How have the dynamics of Everest region glaciers changed over the last 30 years and do evolving flow regimes now mean that we should re-evaluate glacier boundaries?
  • How is continued mass loss from glaciers in the region affecting their surface slope, and might this change promote supraglacial lake development?
  • What is the potential lake volume that could develop at Khumbu Glacier?
  • Can we deduce basal thermal characteristics of the glacier through a combination of field observations and seasonal velocity data?

Supervisors

Duncan Quincey
Jonathan Carrivick

Research Affiliations

River Basin Processes and Management

Funding

NERC DTP studentship

Conferences/training courses attended

  • 2013 British branch meeting of the International Glaciological Society
  • European Geosciences Union general assembly 2014

Research publications

Holt, T.O., Glasser, N.F., Fricker, H.A., Padman, L., Luckman, A., King, O., Quincey, D.J. & Siegfried, M.R. (In press) The structural and dynamic responses of Stange Ice Shelf to recent environmental change. Antarctic Science. doi:10.1017/S095410201400039X.

King, O., Hambrey, M.J., Irvine-Fynn, T.D.L. & Holt, T. (In review). The structural, geometric and volumetric changes of a polythermal arctic glacier during a surge cycle: Comfortlessbreen, Svalbard. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

Presentations

  • European Geosciences Union general assembly 2014
  • Ferraccioli, F., Forsbery, R., Jordan, T., Matsuoka, K., Olsen, A., King, O. & Ghidella, M. New aerogeophysical views of crustal architecture in the Recovery frontier of East Antarctica. http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-4374.pdf
  • (Poster) Ferraccioli, F., King, O., Jordan, T., Ross, N., Bingham, R., Rippin, D., LeBrocq, A., Siegert, M., Smith, A. & Hindmarsh, R. Aeromagnetic and gravity imaging of subglacial geology beneath major ice streams flowing in the Weddell Sea Embayment. http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-8183.pdf
  • Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) meeting 2014
  • (Poster) Ferraccioli, F., King, O., Jordan, T., Ross, N., Bingham, R., Rippin, D., LeBrocq, A., Siegert, M., Smith, A. & Hindmarsh, R. Unveiling subglacial geology beneath major ice streams flowing in the Weddell Sea Embayment with aerogeophysical observations. http://www.scar2014.com/assets/SCAR_and_COMNAP_2014_Abstract_Document.pdf
  • American Geophysical Union fall meeting 2014
  • (Poster) King, O., Ferraccioli, F., Jordan, T., Ross, N., Bingham, R., Rippin, D., LeBrocq, A., Siegert, M., Smith, A. & Hindmarsh, R. Analysing subglacial geology beneath ice streams flowing into the Weddell Sea (West Antarctica). https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/preliminaryview.cgi/Paper21614.html
  • Calving and Surge glaciers in Svalbard (CASS) workshop- Utrecht 2014
  • King, O., Hambrey, M.J., Irvine-Fynn, T. & Holt, T. The structural, geometric and volumetric changes of Comfortlessbreen during its most recent surge cycle. 

Short CV

  • 2008-2011 BSc Geography-Geology, University of Leeds
  • 2011-2012 MSc Glaciology, Aberystwyth University
  • 2013-2014 Geophysical processing assistant, airborne geophysics group, British Antarctic Survey