Clare Robertson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Geography)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Temporal evolution of the termini and subaqueous morphologies of lake-calving glaciers in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Robertson’s research focused on the subaqueous morphology (the underwater shape) of calving glaciers in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. She investigated the controls on subaqueous ice ramp development and evolution at lake-calving glaciers using a unique combination of sub-bottom sonar, echo-sounding, and remote sensing. The aim in the research was to improve our understanding of how different parts of a glacier lose ice. A temporal and spatial evolutionary model of the area’s glaciers and lakes was developed. The subaqueous morphology of Mueller, Hooker, and Tasman proglacial lakes was mapped. It was found that calving and sedimentation are the primary controls of subaqueous morphology evolution. Results highlighted that glacier retreat predictions must consider subaqueous morphology in order to more accurately predict glacier retreat. It was also found that trends observed at one glacier cannot be used to infer the response of another glacier in the same region.

Professor Ian Fuller
Professor Doug Benn
Dr Martin Brook
Dr Katherine Holt