Tom Smith


Masters by Research project title

Aerodynamic roughness of ice surfaces

The contribution of turbulent fluxes to glacial melt is likely to increase in the future; under warmer, wetter climatic conditions (Van den Broeke et al. 2008; Van den Broeke et al. 2011). Existing theory has been shown to underestimate the role of turbulent fluxes at both the valley (Hock et al. 2005) and regional (Fausto et al. 2016) scale. A major uncertainty in these estimations is aerodynamic roughness (z0) which has been oversimplified in previous melt models and generally treated as a constant (James et al. 2017). A recent increase in computational power and high resolution topographic data allows for spatially and temporally distributed representation of z0. Utilising this data could be the key to narrowing the gap between modelled ice melt and reality.

Aims: To investigate the assumptions made in current estimations of z0 and whether these assumptions are appropriate given recent improvements in topographic measurement of ice surfaces.


Dr Mark Smith
Dr Jonathan Carrivick
Dr Duncan Quincey

Research affiliations

River Basin Processes and Management

Brief CV

2012 – 2015 University of Leeds, BSc Physical Geography

2015 – 2016 Leeds Trinity University, PGCE Secondary (Geography)