Dr. Karen Alley
Centre for Earth Observation Science, Environment and Geography
474 Wallace Building
125 Dysart Rd.
B.A. Colgate University, 2012, Geology
Ph.D. University of Colorado Boulder, 2017, Geological Sciences
GEOG 2550: Geomorphology
GEOG 1290: Introduction to Physical Geography
My research is part of the large glaciological community effort to understand how the world’s glaciers and ice sheets are contributing to sea-level rise in a warming climate. I am particularly interested in the ice-ocean interactions that hold a major control on the stability of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and many smaller ice caps and glaciers. Much of my work has focused on the nature of melting beneath the floating ice shelves that fringe the Antarctic continent, which in turn modulates rates of ice delivery to the ocean. My current interests have expanded to include processes at other ice-stream boundaries: the calving processes that control rates of ice-tongue retreat and ice-shelf collapse, grounding-line processes that change ice flow velocities and the impacts of the ocean-induced melting, and shear-margin processes that control the stability of the grounded ice that feeds the ice-ocean interfaces. Most of my work is carried out through satellite remote sensing techniques and through the collection of field data.
Recent and Significant Publications
Alley, K.E., Scambos, T.A., Alley, R.B., Holschuh, N. (2019). Troughs developed in ice-stream shear margins precondition ice shelves for ocean-driven break-up. Science Advances, 5(10), eeax2215
Alley, K.E., Scambos, T.A., Miller, J.Z., Long, D.G., & Macferrin, M. (2018). Quantifying vulnerability of Antarctic ice shelves to hydrofracture using microwave scattering properties. Remote Sensing of Environment, 210, 297-306
Alley, K.E., Scambos, T.A., Anderson, R.S., Rajaram, H., Pope, A., & Haran, T (2018). Continent-wide estimates of Antarctic strain rates from Landsat 8-derived velocity grids. Journal of Glaciology, 64(244), 321-332
Alley, K.E., Scambos, T.A., Siegfried, M.R., & Fricker, H.A. (2016). Impacts of warm water on Antarctic ice shelf stability through basal channel formation. Nature Geoscience, 9, 1-5