Kathryn Rose

Postdoctoral researcher, British Antarctic Survey


Glaciology and glacial geomorphology, subglacial processes and in situ instrumentation, interactions between long-term landscape, ice sheet and climate evolution, polar environments and the history of polar exploration.


The Antarctic continent has played a key role Earth’s history, influencing the movement of the continents through plate tectonics and affecting global climate. By examining the land beneath the ice we can start to build a picture of how climate and ice have evolved and affected the continent over geologic time scales.

My research is centred on the Gamburstev Subglacial Mountains, a mountain range the size of the Alps, hidden beneath the ice in the centre of the East Antarctica. These mountains are important because coupled ice-sheet and climate models predict that they were a key nucleation site for the initiation of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, 34 million years ago. However, the nature of this early glaciation and subsequent ice sheet development is poorly known and evidence for these processes is largely restricted to the continental margins.

To investigate these mountains, I use airborne ice penetrating radar data from the AGAP project, which is a recent international airborne geophysical survey that was carried out during the International Polar Year. The survey provides some of the first data from the interior of East Antarctica, where previously none had existed.

Currently, I am examining the geometry of the landscape in order to quantify the processes, patterns, and scales of landscape evolution across the mountains. This will provide critical new information on the different stages of landscape development in Antarctica and the resultant impact of long-term climate evolution and ice dynamics.

Check out contributions by and mentions of Kathryn Rose on www.software.ac.uk