Dr Grace Nield
My research focuses on glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) - the response of the Earth to changes in ice and ocean loading during a glacial cycle. I completed my PhD in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University in 2014. My thesis investigated deficiencies in millennial-scale GIA models arising from omission of Late Holocene and present-day ice-mass changes in West Antarctica (Antarctic Peninsula and Siple Coast), where there have been notable climate-related changes in recent years. The findings contribute to ongoing improvements of GIA models, a signal that is the main source of error in determining present-day ice mass change from satellite gravity measurements. Furthermore, this work helps to reconcile the misfit between model predictions and GPS observations of present-day solid Earth deformation in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, but highlights the limitations of a 1D Earth structure.
My current research, as part of the UKANET project, aims to enhance 3D finite element models of GIA in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula using high resolution seismic data to derive earth properties. Incorporating lateral variations in Earth properties will improve estimates of solid earth deformation in response to changes in ice loading since the Last Glacial Maximum in this tectonically complex region.
Department of Geography
Department of Geography
- Defining models of glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula (UKANET): Better constraints on Earth structure and uplift
- Postseismic Deformation
- Glacial isostatic adjustment
- Solid Earth deformation
- Ice-sheet modelling
Indicators of Esteem
- 2020: Co-convener at EGU session: Linking Solid Earth and Glacial Isostatic Adjustment:
- 2018: Session Chair at the UK Antarctic Science Conference, Durham:
- 2014: Keith Runcorn Prize (runner up) for Best Geophysics Thesis:
- 2013: Invited seminar speaker, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania:
- 2013: Invited speaker at the Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica (LARISSA) Project Meeting:
- 2012: EGU Outstanding Student Poster Award, Geodesy Division, EGU General Assembly. Poster title: “The effect of recent accumulation changes in the Antarctic Peninsula upon Glacial Isostatic Adjustment”.
- O'Donnell, J.P., Stuart, G.W., Brisbourne, A.M., Selway, K., Yang, Y., Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., Nyblade, A.A., Wiens, D.A., Aster, R.C., Anandakrishnan, S., Huerta, A.D., Wilson, T. & Winberry, J.P. (2019). The uppermost mantle seismic velocity structure of West Antarctica from Rayleigh wave tomography: insights into tectonic structure and geothermal heat flow. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 522: 219-233.
- Simms, A.R., Whitehouse, P.L., Simkins, L.M., Nield, G., DeWitt, R. & Bentley, M.J. (2018). Late Holocene relative sea levels near Palmer Station, northern Antarctic Peninsula, strongly controlled by late Holocene ice-mass changes. Quaternary Science Reviews 199: 49-59.
- Shepherd, A., Ivins, E., Rignot, E., Smith, B., van den Broeke, M., Velicogna, I., Whitehouse, P., Briggs, K., Joughin, I., Krinner, G., Nowicki, S., Payne, T., Scambos, T., Schlegel, N., Geruo, A., Agosta, C., Ahlstrøm, A., Babonis, G., Barletta, V., Blazquez, A., Bonin, J., Csatho, B., Cullather, R., Felikson, D., Fettweis, X., Forsberg, R., Gallee, H., Gardner, A., Gilbert, L., Groh, A., Gunter, B., Hanna, E., Harig, C., Helm, V., Horvath, A., Horwath, M., Khan, S., Kjeldsen, K., Konrad, H., Langen, P., Lecavalier, B., Loomis, B., Luthcke, S., McMillan, M., Melini, D., Mernild, S., Mohajerani, Y., Moore, P., Mouginot, J., Moyano, G., Muir, A., Nagler, T., Nield, G., Nilsson, J., Noel, B., Otosaka, I., Pattle, M.P., Peltier, W.R., Nadege, P., Rietbroek, R., Rott, H., Sandberg-Sørensen, L., Sasgen, I., Save, H., Schrama, E., Schröder, L., Seo, K-W., Simonsen, S., Slater, T., Spada, G., Sutterley, T., Talpe, M., Tarasov, L., van de Berg, W.J., van der Wal, W., van Wessem, M., Vishwakarma, B.D., Wiese, D. & Wouters, B. (2018). Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2017. Nature 558(7709): 219-222.
- Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., van der Wal, W., Blank, B., O'Donnell, J.P. & Stuart, G.W. (2018). The impact of lateral variations in lithospheric thickness on glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antarctica. Geophysical Journal International 214(2): 811-824.
- Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., King, M.K. & Clarke, P.J. (2016). Glacial Isostatic Adjustment in response to changing Late Holocene behaviour of ice streams on the Siple Coast, West Antarctica. Geophysical Journal International 205(1): 1-21.
- 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. (2015). 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 203(1): 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. (2014). Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 397: 32-41.
- Nield, G.A., Whitehouse, P.L., King, M.A., Clarke, P.J. & Bentley, M.J. (2012). Increased ice loading in the Antarctic Peninsula since the 1850s and its effect on glacial isostatic adjustment. Geophysical Research Letters