Dr Pippa Whitehouse
I am a NERC Independent Research Fellow (2013-2018) and 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 recent work provides an 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 also 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 that I am currently pursuing futher as improved constraints on heterogeneous Earth structure become available.
For wider audiences
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 described in the Autumn 2012 edition of NERC's Planet Earth magazine. I also delivered the Bullerwell Lecture in 2016 in which I summarise my current work on 3D GIA modelling; a video of the recording from the 2016 PGRIP Meeting is available to view.
Past and Ongoing Research
W12a GIA Model Output
GIA model output, which may be used to correct GRACE and altimetry data for the effects of GIA in Antarctica, is available for download. Please see Whitehouse et al. (2012, GJI) and the readme file for further details.
NERC Independent Research Fellowship
During my Fellowship I will work with a number of international collaborators and am grateful for their co-operation. These colaborators include Wouter van der Wal (TU Delft), Terry Wilson (Ohio State University), Doug Wiens (Washington University in St Louis), Ed Bueler (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) and Matt King (University of Tasmania).
I am a collaborator on the UKANET project that is using seismic and GPS data to improve our undestanding of Earth structure beneath the Antarctic Peninsula. My fieldwork blog gives an insight into the work involved when installing such instruments at the ends of world!
Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryosphere Evolution (SERCE)
SERCE is a Scientific Research Program funded by the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR). With Prof. Matt King, I am currently co-director of this program, which seeks to facilitate collaboration with the goal of advancing out understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere to better constrain ice mass balance, ice dynamics and sea level change in a warming world.
- Defining models of glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula (UKANET): Better constraints on Earth structure and uplift
- Determination of a New Global GPS-Derived Surface Velocity Field and its Application to the Problem of 20th Century Sea-Level Rise, The
- Glaciated North Atlantic Margins (GLANAM)
- Improved models of West Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment through new crustal motion data
- Thinning History of the Foundation - Thiel Trough Ice Stream: A Key Control on Deglaciation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, Weddell Sea Embayment
- Glacial isostatic adjustment
- Ice-sheet modelling
- Solid Earth deformation
- Global sea-level change
- Records of Antarctic ice-sheet change
- Records of Antarctic relative sea-level change
Indicators of Esteem
- 2016: :
- British Geophysical Association - Bullerwell Lecturer
- 2015: :
- University of Tasmania, Visiting Scholar
- Co-convenor at the EGU General Assembly
- Co-convenor at the IUGG General Assembly
- Invited Instructor at the POLENET GIA Training School
- 2014: :
- Invited speaker at the WEGENER Meeting
- Invited speaker at the AGU Fall Meeting
- Co-organiser of the MOCA model-data workshop on the Late Pleistocene evolution of Antarctica and Greenland
- Invited Speaker for the Royal Meteorological Society (Edinburgh)
- Invited lecturer at the Karthaus Summer School on Ice Sheets and Glaciers in the Climate System
- 2013: :
- Invited speaker at the 'Antarctic Ice Rises 2013' Workshop
- Member of the Ice-Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) steering committee
- Co-convenor at the AGU Fall Meeting
- Co-convenor for the IAG Workshop on 'Reconciling observations and models of elastic and viscoelastic deformation due to ice mass change'
- Invited Speaker for the Royal Meteorological Society (Durham, Manchester)
- 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
- Massam, A., Sneed, S., Lee, G., Tuckwell, R., Mulvaney, R., Mayewski, P.A. & Whitehouse, P. A comparison of annual layer thickness model estimates with observational measurements using the Berkner Island ice core, Antarctica. Antarctic Science. 2017.
- Bentley, M.J., Hein, A.S., Sugden, D.E., Whitehouse, P.L., Shanks, R., Xu, S. & Freeman, S.P.H.T. Deglacial history of the Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica from glacial geomorphology and cosmogenic nuclide surface exposure dating. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2017;158:58-76.
- Clement, A.J.H., Whitehouse, P.L. & Sloss, C.R. An examination of spatial variability in the timing and magnitude of Holocene relative sea-level changes in the New Zealand archipelago. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2016;131:73-101.
- Auriac, A., Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J., Patton, H., Lloyd, J.M. & Hubbard, A. Glacial isostatic adjustment associated with the Barents Sea ice sheet: a modelling inter-comparison. Quaternary Science Reviews. 2016;147:122-135.
- Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., King, M.K. & Clarke, P.J. Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in response to changing Late Holocene behaviour of ice streams on the Siple Coast, West Antarctica. Geophysical Journal International. 2016;205:1-21.
- King, M.A., Whitehouse, P.L. & van der Wal, W. Incomplete separability of Antarctic plate rotation from glacial isostatic adjustment deformation within geodetic observations. Geophysical Journal International. 2016;204:324-330.
- Hodgson, D.A., Whitehouse, P.L., De Cort, G., Berg, S., Verleyen, E., Tavernier, I., Roberts, S.J., Vyverman, W., Sabbe, K. & O'Brien, P. Rapid early Holocene sea-level rise in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. Global and Planetary Change. 2016;139:128-140.
- Matsuoka, K., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Moholdt, G., Bentley, M.J., Pritchard, H.D., Brown, J., Conway, H., Drews, R., Durand, G., Goldberg, D., Hattermann, T., Kingslake, J., Lenaerts, J.T.M., Martin, C., Mulvaney, R., Nicholls, K., Pattyn, F., Ross, N., Scambos, T. & Whitehouse, P.L. Antarctic ice rises and rumples: Their properties and significance for ice-sheet dynamics and evolution. Earth-Science Reviews. 2015;150:724-745.
- van der Wal, Wouter, Whitehouse, Pippa L. & Schrama, E.J.O. Effect of GIA models with 3D composite mantle viscosity on GRACE mass balance estimates for Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2015;414:134-143.
- Bradley, S.L., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J. & King, M.A. Low post-glacial rebound rates in the Weddell Sea due to Late Holocene ice- sheet readvance. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2015;413:79-89.
- Wolstencroft, M., King, M. A., Whitehouse, P. L., Bentley, M. J., Nield, G. A., King, E. C., McMillan, M., Shepherd, A., Barletta, V., Bordoni, A., Riva, R. E. M., Didova, O. & Gunter, B. C. Uplift rates from a new high-density GPS network in Palmer Land indicate significant late Holocene ice loss in the southwestern Weddell Sea. Geophysical Journal International. 2015;203:737-754.
- Nield, G.A., Barletta, V.R., Bordoni,A., King, M.A., Whitehouse, P.L., Clarke, P.J., Domack, E., Scambos, T.A. & Berthier, E. Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2014;397:32-41.
- Williams, Simon D.P., Moore, Philip, King, Matt A. & Whitehouse, Pippa L. Revisiting GRACE Antarctic ice mass trends and accelerations considering autocorrelation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2014;385:12-21.
- 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. 2013;498:51-59.
- 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 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;30:3603-3617.
- 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;30:2422-2432.
- 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, P.L., Allen, M.B. & Milne, G.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.
Chapter in book
- 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.
- King, M.A. & Whitehouse, P. On the Up. Planet Earth. 2012;14-15.
- 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.
- 2014: Defining models of glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antarctica and Antarctic Peninsula (UKANET): better constraints on Earth structure and uplift (£114431.93 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
- 2013: Constraining Antarctica's contribution to sea-level change: development of a new glacial isostatic adjustment model for Antarctica (£406340.00 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)