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Durham University

Sea Level Research Unit (SLRU)

Members

Professor Dave Roberts

Contact Professor Dave Roberts (email at d.h.roberts@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

My research interests centre on glacial sedimentary processes and understanding millenial-scale changes in ice sheet and ice stream dynamics.

In Greenland my work focuses on ice sheet evolution and ice stream dynamics during the last glacial cycle. I have studied ice sheet behaviour along the West and Southeast margins of the Greenland ice sheet and also have interests in large palaeo, cross-shelf ice streams such as the Uummannaq Ice Stream System, Jakobshavns Isbare and Holsteinborgs Isbrae and the forcing mechanisms that govern their long term behaviour. Our new work on the NE Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS Project 2016 - 2020) aims to shed light on the deglacial and Holocene dynamic history of NEGIS and to explore the forcing mechanisms that governed its millenial-scale behaviour.

In the UK, my work in Norfolk, the Irish Sea and the East coast has focussed on the importance of understanding the subglacial and ice marginal processes that accompany ice sheet/stream advance and retreat during glacial cycles. On the east coast, understanding the controls on LGM ice sheet dynamics and fast ice flow in the NE sector of the BIIS has been a major focus of recent work, as have interactions between the British and Fennoscandanavian ice sheets throughout the Quaternary. Two current projects; Britice-Chrono (NERC Consortium) and GLANAM (EU Funded); are both aiming to reconstruct deglacial behaviour of the British-Irish Ice Sheet in order to contextualise future changes in Greeland and Antartica.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Schaffer, Janin, Kanzow, Torsten, von Appen, Wilken-Jon, von Albedyll, Luisa, Arndt, Jan Erik & Roberts, David H. Bathymetry constrains ocean heat supply to Greenland’s largest glacier tongue. Nature Geoscience. 2020;13:227-231.
  • Jess, Scott, Stephenson, Randell, Roberts, David H. & Brown, Roderick Differential erosion of a Mesozoic rift flank: Establishing the source of topography across Karrat, central West Greenland. Geomorphology. 2019.
  • Roberts, David H., Grimoldi, Elena, Callard, Louise, Evans, David J.A., Clark, Chris D., Stewart, Heather A., Dove, Dayton, Saher, Margot, Cofaigh, Colm Ó., Chiverrell, Richard C., Bateman, Mark D., Moreton, Steven G., Bradwell, Tom, Fabel, Derek & Medialdea, Alicia The mixed‐bed glacial landform imprint of the North Sea Lobe in the western North Sea. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2019;44:1233-1258.
  • Roberts, David H., Evans, David J.A., Callard, S. Louise, Clark, Chris D., Bateman, Mark D., Medialdea, Alicia, Dove, Dayton, Cotterill, Carol J., Saher, Margot, Cofaigh, Colm Ó., Chiverrell, Richard C., Moreton, Steven G., Fabel, Derek & Bradwell, Tom Ice marginal dynamics of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet in the southern North Sea: Ice limits, timing and the influence of the Dogger Bank. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2018;198:181-207.
  • Evans, D.J.A., Bateman, M.D., Roberts, D.H., Medialdea, A., Hayes, L., Duller, G.A.T., Fabel, D. & Clark, C.D. Glacial Lake Pickering: stratigraphy and chronology of a proglacial lake dammed by the North Sea Lobe of the British–Irish Ice Sheet. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2017;32:295-310.
  • Chandler, B.M.P., Evans, D.J.A. & Roberts, D.H. Characteristics of recessional moraines at a temperate glacier in SE Iceland: Insights into patterns, rates and drivers of glacier retreat. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2016;135:171-205.
  • Chandler, B.M.P., Evans, D.J.A., Roberts, D.H., Ewertowski, M. & Clayton, A.I. Glacial geomorphology of the Skálafellsjökull foreland, Iceland: A case study of ‘annual’ moraines. Journal of Maps. 2016;12:904-916.
  • Ewertowski, M., Evans, D.J.A., Roberts, D.H. & Tomczyk, A.M. Glacial geomorphology of the terrestrial margins of the tidewater glacier, Nordenskiöldbreen, Svalbard. Journal of Maps. 2016;12:476-487.
  • Lane, T.P., Roberts, D.H., Ó Cofaigh, C., Rea, B.R. & Vieli, A. Glacial landscape evolution in the Uummannaq region, West Greenland. Boreas. 2016;45:220-234.
  • Evans, D.J.A., Roberts, D.H. & Evans, S.C. Multiple subglacial till deposition: a modern exemplar for Quaternary palaeoglaciology. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2016;145:183-203.
  • Chandler, B.M.P., Evans, D.J.A., Roberts, D.H. & (Submitted) Recent ice-frontal retreat at a temperate glacier in SE Iceland in the context of the last ~80 years. Geology. 2016.
  • Lane, T.P., Roberts, D.H., Rea, B.R., Ó Cofaigh, C. & Vieli, A. Controls on subglacial bedrock bedform development at the base of the Uummannaq Ice Stream, West Greenland. Geomorphology. 2015;231:301-313.
  • Evans, D.J.A., Roberts, D.H. & O'Cofaigh, C. Drumlin sedimentology in a hard-bed, lowland setting, Connemara, western Ireland: implications for subglacial bedform generation in areas of sparse till cover. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2015;30:537-557.
  • Livingstone, S., Roberts, D.H., Davies, B., Evans, D., Ó Cofaigh, C. & Gheorghiu, D. Late Devensian deglaciation of the Tyne Gap Palaeo-Ice Stream, northern England. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2015;30:790-804.
  • Stokes, C.R., Tarasov, L., Blomdin, R., Cronin, T.M., Fisher, T.G., Gyllencreutz, R., Hättestrand, C., Heyman, J., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Hughes, A.L.C., Jakobsson, M., Kirchner, N., Livingstone, S.J., Margold, M., Murton, J.B., Noormets, R., Peltier, W.R., Peteet, D.M., Piper, D.J.W., Preusser, F., Renssen, H., Roberts, D.H., Roche, D.M., Saint-Ange, F., Stroeven, A.P. & Teller, J.T. On the Reconstruction of Palaeo-Ice Sheets: Recent Advances and Future Challenges. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2015;125:15-49.
  • Yde, J. E., Knudsen, N.T., Steffensen, J.P., Carrivick, J.L., Hasholt, B., Ingeman-Nielsen, T., Kronborg, C., Larsen, N.K., Mernild, S.H., Oerter, H., Roberts, D.H. & Russell, A.J. Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen isotope compositions in three contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 2015;12:5841-5893.
  • Lane, T.P., Roberts, D.H., Ó Cofaigh, C., Vieli, A. & Moreton, S. The glacial history of the southern Svartenhuk Halvø, West Greenland. Arktos. 2015;1:19.
  • Lane, T.P., Roberts, D.H., Rea, B.R., Ó Cofaigh, C., Vieli, A. & Rodés, A. Controls upon the Last Glacial Maximum deglaciation of the northern Uummannaq Ice Stream System, West Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2014;92:324-344.
  • Roberts, D.H., Rea, B., Lane, T., Schnabel, C. & Rodés, A. New constraints on Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the last glacial cycle: evidence from the Uummannaq ice stream system. Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface. 2013;118:519-541.
  • Livingstone S.J., Evans D.J.A., Ó Cofaigh C., Davies B.J., Merritt J.W., Huddart D. Mitchell W.A., Roberts D.H. & Yorke L. Glaciodynamics of the central sector of the last British–Irish Ice Sheet in Northern England. Earth Science Reviews. 2012;111:25-55.
  • Roberts, D.H., Evans, D.J.A., Lodwick, J. & Cox, N.J. The subglacial and ice-marginal signature of the North Sea Lobe of the British–Irish Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum at Upgang, North Yorkshire, UK. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. 2012.
  • Davies, B.J., Roberts, D.H., Bridgland, D.R. & Ó Cofaigh, C. Dynamic Devensian ice flow in NE England: a sedimentological reconstruction. Boreas. 2011;41:337–366.
  • Davies, B.J., Roberts, D.H., Bridgland, D.R., Ó Cofaigh, C. & Riding, J.B. Provenance and depositional environments of Quaternary sediments from the western North Sea Basin. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2011;26:59-75.
  • Roberts, D.H., Long, A.J., Davies, B., Simpson. M.J.R. & Schnabel, C. Ice stream influence on West Greenland Ice Sheet dynamics during the Last Glacial Maximum. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2010;25:850–864.
  • Davies, B.J., Roberts, D.H., Bridgland, D.R., Ó Cofaigh, C., Riding, J.B., Demarchi, B., Penkman, K.E.H & Pawley, S.M. Timing and depositional environments of a Middle Pleistocene glaciation of northeast England: New evidence from Warren House Gill, County Durham. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2010.
  • Roberts, D.H., Yde, J., Long, A.J., Knudsen, N.T. & Lloyd, J.M. Ice marginal dynamics during surge activity, Kuannersuit Glacier, Disko Island, West Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2009;28:209-222.
  • Roberts, D.H., Long, A.J., Schnabel, C., Davies, B., Simpson. M.J.R, Sheng, X. & Huybrechts, P. Ice sheet extent and early deglacial history of the southwestern sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2009;28:2760-2773.
  • Long, A.J., Woodroffe, S.A., Dawson, S., Roberts, D.H. & Bryant, L.M. Late Holocene relative sea level rise and the Neoglacial history of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Jounal of Quaternary Science. 2009;24:345-359.
  • Davies, B.J., Roberts, D.H., O Cofaigh, C. & Bridgland, D. R. Subglacial and ice marginal controls on sediment deposition during the last glacial maximum: interlobate ice sheet dynamics at Whitburn Bay, County Durham, England. Boreas. 2009.
  • Davies, B.J., Bridgland, D.R., Roberts, D.H., O´Cofaigh, C., Pawley, S.M., Candy, I., Demarchi, B., Penkman, K.E.H. & Austin, W.E.N. The age and stratigraphic context of the Easington Raised Beach, County Durham, UK. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association. 2009;120:183-198.
  • Long, A.J., Roberts, D.H., Simpson, M.J.R., Dawson, S., Milne, G.A. & Huybrechts, P. Late Weichselian relative sea-level changes and ice sheet history in southeast Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2008;272:8-18.
  • Roberts, D.H., Long, A.J., Schnabel, C., Simpson, M. & Freeman, S. The deglacial history of the southeast sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2008;27:1505-1516.
  • Engelhart, S.E., Horton, B.P., Roberts, D.H., Bryant, C.L. & Reide Corbett, D. Mangrove Pollen of Indonesia and its suitability as a sea-level indicator. Marine Geology. 2007;242:65-81.
  • Roberts, D.H., Dackombe, R.V. & Thomas, G.S.P. Palaeo ice streaming in the central sector of the British-Irish Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum: evidence from the northern Irish Sea Basin. Boreas. 2007;36:115-129.
  • Long, A.J., Roberts, D.H. & Dawson, S. Early Holocene history of the west Greenland Ice Sheet and the GH-8.2 event. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2006;25:904-922.
  • Roberts, D.H., Chiverrell, R.C., Innes, J.B., Horton, B.P., Brooks, A.J., Thomas, G.S.P., Turner, S. & Gonzalez, S. Holocene sea levels, Last Glacial Maximum glaciomarine environments and geophysical models in the northern Irish Sea Basin, UK. Marine Geology. 2006;231:113-128.
  • Roberts, D.H. & Long, A.J. Streamlined bedrock terrain and fast ice flow, Jakobshavns Isbrae, West Greenland: implications for ice stream and ice sheet dynamics. Boreas. 2005;34:25-42.
  • Roberts, D.H. & Hart, J.K. The deforming bed characteristics of a stratified till assemblage in north East Anglia, UK: investigating controls on sediment rheology and strain signatures. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2005;24:123-140.
  • Long, A.J. & Roberts, D.H. Late Weichselian deglacial history of Disko Bugt, West Greenland, and the dynamics of the Jakobshavns Isbrae ice stream. Boreas. 2003;32:208-226.
  • Long, A.J., Roberts, D.H. & Rasch, M. New observations on the relative sea level and deglacial history of Greenland from Innaarsuit, Disko Bugt. Quaternary Research. 2003;60:162-171.
  • Long, A.J. & Roberts, D.H. A revised chronology for the 'Fjord Stade' moraine in Disko Bugt, west Greenland. Journal of Quaternary Science. 2002;17:561-579.
  • Long, A.J., Roberts, D.H. & Wright, M.R. Isolation basin stratigraphy and Holocene relative sea-level change on Arveprinsen Ejland, Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Journal of Quaternary Science. 1999;14:323-345.
  • Evans, D.J.A., Owen, L.A. & Roberts, D.H. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of Devensian (Dimlington-Stadial) glacial deposits, East Yorkshire, England. Journal of Quaternary Science. 1995;10:241-265.
  • Hart, J.K. & Roberts, D.H. Criteria to distinguish between glaciotectonic and glaciomarine sedimentation: I-Deformational styles and sedimentology. Sedimentary Geology. 1994;91:191-213.

Authored book

  • Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.

Chapter in book

  • Davies, B., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H. - Geology and Landscape. In: Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H. Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.
  • Roberts, D.H., Mitchell, W.A., Bridgland, D.R. & Innes, J.I. - Marfield Quarry. In: Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H. Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.
  • Davies, B. & Roberts, D.H. - Overview of the glacial sediments of County Durham. In: Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H. Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.
  • Davies, B., Bridgland, D.R., Roberts, D.H. & O Cofaigh, C. - Warren House Gill. In: Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.
  • Davies, B., Bridgland, D.R., Roberts, D.H. & O Cofaigh, C. - Whitburn Bay. In: Davies, B., Yorke, L., Bridgland, D.R. & Roberts, D.H Quaternary of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. QRA; 2013.
  • Roberts, D.H. & Hart, J.K. - Macro and microstructural evidence for a deforming glacier bed: East Runton to West Runton. In: Phillips, E., Lee, J.R. & Evans, H.M. Glaciotectonic Field Guide. QRA; 2011.
  • Chiverrell, R., Innes, J. B., Thomas, G., Gonzalez, S., Roberts, D. H. & Coope R. Emerging from the Ice Age. In: Chiverrell, R. C. & Thomas, G. S. P. A New History of the Isle of Man: Volume 1: Evolution of the natural landscape. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; 2006:220-278.
  • Chiverrell, R.C., Innes, J.B., Roberts, D.H., Tomlinson, G.S.P., Pooley, E., Fullen, M., Hallett, M. & Harris, J. The Holocene. In: Chiverrell, R.C. & Thomas, G.S.P. A New History of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; 2006:126-219.
  • Thomas, G.S.P., Chiverrell, R.C., Huddart, D., Long, D. & Roberts, D.H. The Ice Age. In: Chiverrell, R.C. & Thomas, G.S.P. A New History of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; 2006:126-219.
  • Roberts, D.H., Chiverrell, R.C., Innes, J.B., Gonzalez, S., Turner, S. & Horton, B.P. New data on Holocene sea-level changes on the Isle of Man. In: Chiverrell, R.C., Plater, A.J. & Thomas, G.S.P. The Quaternary of the Isle of Man and North West England. Quaternary Research Association; 2004:112-124.
  • Roberts, D.H., Dackombe, R.V. & Thomas, G.S.P. The glacial landsystem signature of the south Isle of Man. In: Chiverrell, R.C., Plater, A.J. & Thomas, G.S.P. The Quaternary of the Isle of Man and North West England. Quaternary Research Association; 2004:44-53.
  • Chadwick, R. A., Jackson, D. I., Kimbell, G. S., Johnson, H., Chiverell, R. C., Thomas, G. S. P., Jones, N. S., Riley, N. J., Pickett, E. A., Young, B., Holliday, D. W., Ball, D. F., Molyneux, S. G., Long, D., Power, G. M. & Roberts, D.H. The Geology of the Isle of Man and its offshore area. In: Keyworth; 2001.
  • Roberts, D.H. & Hart, J.K. The glacial deposits of Trimingham. In: Lewis, S.G., Whiteman, C.A. & Preece, R.C. The Quaternary of Norfolk and Suffolk, QRA Field Guide. 2000:103-111.
  • Roberts, D.H. & Hart, J.K. The glacial deposits of West Runton. In: Lewis, S.G., Whiteman, C.A. & Preece, R.C. The Quaternary of Norfolk and Suffolk. 2000:77-85.
  • Long, A.J. & Roberts, D.H. Sea-level change. In: Fulford, M., Champion, T. & Long, A.J. England's Coastal Heritage: A Survey for English Heritage and the RCHME. English Heritage and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Archaeological Report; 1997:25-49.

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Research Groups

Department of Geography

Research Projects

Department of Geography

  • BRITICE‐CHRONO: Constraining Rates and Style of Marine‐Influenced Ice Sheet Decay
  • Deglacial History of the Southeast Sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet During the Last Glacial Maximum, The
  • Geochronology and dynamics of the western sector of the Greenland Ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum, The
  • Glaciated North Atlantic Margins (GLANAM)
  • Greenland in a Warmer Climate: What Controls the Advance & Retreat of the NE Greenland Ice Stream? (NEGIS)
  • Reconstructing Ice Sheet History Using Relative Sea-Level (RSL) Observations and Modelling
  • Streamlined Bedrock Terrain and Fast Ice Flow, Jakobshavns Isbrae, West Greenland: Implications for Ice Stream and Ice Sheet Dynamics
  • Swale-Ure Washlands Project, The

Supervises

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