Dr Pippa Whitehouse
In my research I study glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA); the response of the Earth system to changes in ice and ocean loading during a glacial cycle. I investigate how this process can be used to understand changes in sea-level, solid earth deformation, and the volume of the global ice sheets during the last glacial cycle, and in the present day.
My previous work includes research into GIA processes in North America, Scandinavia and Siberia, and my current research focuses on Antarctica. I use numerical ice sheet models to create glaciologically- and data-consistent reconstructions of ice mass changes throughout Antarctica since the Last Glacial Maximum. These ice history models are used to drive a GIA model, from which predictions of present-day uplift rates and relative sea-level changes can be calculated. The outputs of the GIA model are tuned to fit observations of relative sea-level change around Antarctica by varying the rheological properties of the Earth within the model. The accuracy of the model predictions are then verified by comparing to GPS uplift rates.
Ongoing GIA processes result in the redistribution of internal and surface masses, and this alters the shape of the geoid. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, which record temporal variations in the Earth's gravity field, must be corrected for GIA affects before we can tease out the signal due to current ice-mass change. My work provides a new, error-bounded, GIA correction which has been used to place tighter constraints on the distribution of present-day ice-mass change throughout Antarctica. The GIA model output is available here for use by other groups working with GRACE data in Antarctica.
My previous work includes research into the effect of lateral heterogeneities in Earth structure upon GIA, and the implications of including this complexity upon inferences of ice sheet history and mantle viscosity.This is an area I hope to pursue futher as improved constraints on heterogeneous Earth structure become available.
For those who are interested, I have written a layman's summary of glacial isostatic adjustment, which explains the scientific ideas behind my research. In addition, the methods that we use to determine the rate at which Antarctica is currently losing ice are explained in the Autumn 2012 edition of NERC's Planet Earth magazine.
- Determination of a new Global GPS-derived surface velocity field and its application to the problem of 20th Century sea-level rise, The
- Glacial isostatic adjustment
- Ice-sheet modelling
- Global sea-level change
- Records of Antarctic ice-sheet change
- Records of Antarctic relative sea-level change
Indicators of Esteem
- 2012: :
Invited lecturer at the Karthaus Summer School on Ice Sheets and Glaciers in the Climate System
Participant in the Ice sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE)
Invited speaker at the Ice-sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level workshop (ISMASS)
Invited speaker at the DynaQlim workshop on lithosphere-cryosphere interactions
Co-convenor at the AGU Fall Meeting
Co-convenor at the SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) Open Science Conference
Invited co-convenor of the ESF-funded SLALOM Workshop
- 2010: :
Invited speaker at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting
Invited speaker at PALSEA 2010
- King, M.A. & Whitehouse, P. On the Up. Planet Earth. 2012;14-15.
Journal papers: academic
- Hanna, E., Navarro, F.J., Pattyn, F., Domingues, C.M., Fettweis, X., Ivins, E.R., Nicholls, R.J., Ritz, C., Smith, B., Tulaczyk, S., Whitehouse, P.L. & Zwally, H.J. Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change. Nature. Accepted.
- Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J. & Le Brocq, A.M. A deglacial model for Antarctica: geological constraints and glaciological modelling as a basis for a new model of Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2012;32:1-24.
- Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J., Milne, G.A., King, M.A. & Thomas, I.D. A new glacial isostatic adjustment model for Antarctica: calibrated and tested using observations of relative sea-level change and present-day uplift rates. Geophysical Journal International. 2012;190:1464-1482.
- Shepherd, A., Ivins, E. R., Geruo, A., Barletta, V.B., Bentley, M.J., Bettadpur, S., Briggs, K.H., Bromwich, D.H., Forsberg, R., Galin, N., Horwath, M., Jacobs, S., Joughin, I., King, M.A., Lenaerts, J.T.M., Li, J., Ligtenberg, S.R.M., Luckman, A., Luthcke, S.B., McMillan, M., Meister, R., Milne, G., Mouginot, J., Muir, A., Nicolas, J.P., Paden, J., Payne, A.J., Pritchard, H., Rignot, E., Rott, H., Sørensen, L.S., Scambos, T.A., Scheuchl, B., Schrama, E.J.O., Smith, B., Sundal, A.V., van Angelen, J.H., van de Berg, W.J., van den Broeke, M.R., Vaughan, D.G., Velicogna, I., Wahr, J., Whitehouse, P.L., Wingham, D.J., Yi, D., Young, D. & Zwally, H.J. A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance. Science. 2012;338:1183-1189.
- Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., King, M.A., Clarke, P.J. & Bentley, M.J. Increased ice loading in the Antarctic Peninsula since the 1850s and its effect on glacial isostatic adjustment. Geophysical Research Letters. 2012.
- King, M.A., Bingham, R.J., Moore, P., Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J. & Milne, G.A. Lower satellite-gravimetry estimates of Antarctic sea-level contribution. Nature. 2012;491:586–589.
- King, M.A., Keshin, M., Whitehouse, P.L., Thomas, I.D., Milne, G.A. & Riva, R.E.M. Regional biases in absolute sea-level estimates from tide gauge data due to residual unmodeled vertical land movement. Geophysical Research Letters. 2012;39.
- Watcham, E.P., Bentley, M.J., Hodgson, D.A., Roberts, S.J., Fretwell, P.T., Lloyd, J.M., Larter, R.D., Whitehouse, P.L., Leng, M.J., Monien, P. & Moreton, S.G. A new Holocene relative sea-level curve for the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2011;30:3152-3170.
- Roberts, S.J., Hodgson, D.A., Sterken, M., Verleyen, E., Vyverman, W., Sabbe, K., Balbo, A., Bentley, M.J. & Whitehouse, P.L. Geological constraints on glacio-isostatic adjustment models of relative sea-level change during deglaciation of Prince Gustav Channel, Antarctic Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2011;30:3603.
- Le Brocq, A.M., Bentley, M.J., Fogwill, C.J., Hubbard, A.L., Sugden, D.E. & Whitehouse, P.L. Reconstructing the contribution of the Weddell Sea sector, Antarctica, to sea level rise since the last glacial maximum, using numerical modelling constrained by field evidence. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2011;30:2422.
- Thomas, I., King, M.A., Bentley, M.J., Whitehouse, P.L., Penna, N.T., Williams, S.D.P., Riva, R.E.M., Lavallee, D.A., Clarke P.J., King, E.C., Hindmarsh, R.C.A. & Koivula, H Widespread low rates of Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment revealed by GPS observations. Geophysical Research Letters. 2011;38.
- Whitehouse, Pippa L., Allen, Mark B. & Milne, Glenn A. Glacial isostatic adjustment as a control on coastal processes: an example from the Siberian Arctic. Geology. 2007;35:747-750.
- Whitehouse, Pippa., Latychev, Konstantin., Milne, Glenn A., Mitrovica, Jerry X. & Kendall, Roblyn. Impact of 3-D Earth structure on Fennoscandian glacial isostatic adjustment: Implications for space-geodetic estimates of present-day crustal deformations. Geophysical Research Letters. 2006;33:L13502.
- Whitehouse, P.L, England, P.C & Houseman, G.A A physical model for the motion of the Sierra Block relative to North America. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2005;237:590-600.
Book chapters: online
- Whitehouse, P.L. & Bradley, S.L. Eustatic sea-level changes since the Last Glacial Maximum. In: Elias, S.A. Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences, 2nd Edition. Elsevier (Amsterdam); 2013:439-451.
- Whitehouse, P.L & England, P.C The Viscosity Distribution in Asia. Eos Trans. AGU; 2002.
- Whitehouse, P. & Näslund, J-O. Climate and climate-related issues for the safety assessment SR-Site: Chapter 3.3. Isostatic adjustment and shore-level changes. 2010;TR-10-49, pp. 75-106.
- Whitehouse, P. Glacial isostatic adjustment and sea-level change state of the art report. 2009;105.
- Whitehouse, P. Climate and climate-related issues for the safety assessment SR-Can: Chapter 3.3. Isostatic adjustment and shoreline migration. 2006;68-92.