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Changing Polar Regions

Dartmouth Academic Cluster

(Credit: CRREL)


Our mission is to improve our understanding of the response of the ice sheets in a changing climate, their interactions with the other components of the climate system, and provide reliable projections of sea level rise. We combine different methods such as numerical modeling, remote sensing, laboratory experiments and field work to address these questions.

Who are we?

Cluster Faculty

Mathieu Morlighem

Evans Family Professor

Department of Earth Sciences

Colin Meyer

Assistant Professor

Thayer School of Engineering

Yoshihiro Nakayama

Associate Professor

Thayer School of Engineering
(starting Dec. 2024)

Affiliated Faculty


Evans Family Short-Term Graduate Student Fellowship Program: We are soliciting applications from current graduate students that will come to Hanover, New Hampshire for 3 to 6 months to work on a project focused on polar science with a Dartmouth faculty member (see list of faculty above). We anticipate supporting up to 3 student visitors in 2024. The fellowship will cover the cost of travel and lodging up to $10,000 for 3 months or up to $15,000 for 6 months. Applications are due November 1st with notifications sent by December 1st for research visits in the Spring, Summer, or Fall of 2024. The application form is linked here and includes a 1-page research statement (that can be crafted in conjunction with your faculty host). If there are any general questions before the application due date, feel free to reach out to or Dartmouth College is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected status. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from individuals with a broad spectrum of experience and identity.

Sabbatical support (for faculty and researchers): contact us if you would like to spend 6 months or more with us. More information will be posted later.

Current projects

  • Ice Sheet Modeling

  • Mass balance of the ice sheets

  • Basal processes

  • Bed topography mapping

    Recent Publications

    • M. Mas e Braga, R.S. Jones, J. Bernales, J.L. Andersen, O. Fredin, M. Morlighem, A.J. Koester, N.A. Lifton, J.M. Harbor, Y. Suganuma, N.F. Glasser, I. Rogozhina and A.P. Stroeven, A thicker Antarctic ice stream during the mid-Pliocene warm period, Communications Earth & Environment 4 (2023) [link]
    • W. Kochtitzky, L. Copland, M. King, R. Hugonnet, H. Jiskoot, M. Morlighem, R. Millan, S.A. Khan and B. Noël, Closing Greenland’s Mass Balance: Frontal Ablation of Every Greenlandic Glacier From 2000 to 2020, Geophysical Research Letters 50 (2023) [link]
    • A.C. Frémand, P. Fretwell, J.A. Bodart, H.D. Pritchard, A. Aitken, J.L. Bamber, R. Bell, C. Bianchi, R.G. Bingham, D.D. Blankenship, G. Casassa, G. Catania, K. Christianson, H. Conway, H.F.J. Corr, X. Cui, D. Damaske, V. Damm, R. Drews, G. Eagles, O. Eisen, H. Eisermann, F. Ferraccioli, E. Field, R. Forsberg, S. Franke, S. Fujita, Y. Gim, V. Goel, S.P. Gogineni, J. Greenbaum, B. Hills, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, A.O. Hoffman, P. Holmlund, N. Holschuh, J.W. Holt, A.N. Horlings, A. Humbert, R.W. Jacobel, D. Jansen, A. Jenkins, W. Jokat, T. Jordan, E. King, J. Kohler, W. Krabill, M. Kusk Gillespie, K. Langley, J. Lee, G. Leitchenkov, C. Leuschen, B. Luyendyk, J. MacGregor, E. MacKie, K. Matsuoka, M. Morlighem, J. Mouginot, F.O. Nitsche, Y. Nogi, O.A. Nost, J. Paden, F. Pattyn, S.V. Popov, E. Rignot, D.M. Rippin, A. Rivera, J. Roberts, N. Ross, A. Ruppel, D.M. Schroeder, M.J. Siegert, A.M. Smith, D. Steinhage, M. Studinger, B. Sun, I. Tabacco, K. Tinto, S. Urbini, D. Vaughan, B.C. Welch, D.S. Wilson, D.A. Young and A. Zirizzotti, Antarctic Bedmap data: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) sharing of 60 years of ice bed, surface, and thickness data, Earth System Science Data 15 (2023) 2695-710 [link]
    • A. Sommers, C. Meyer, M. Morlighem, H. Rajaram, K. Poinar, W. Chu and J. Mejia, Subglacial hydrology modeling predicts high winter water pressure and spatially variable transmissivity at Helheim Glacier, Greenland, Journal of Glaciology (2023) 1-13 [link]
    • G.H. Gudmundsson, J.M. Barnes, D.N. Goldberg and M. Morlighem, Limited Impact of Thwaites Ice Shelf on Future Ice Loss From Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters 50 (2023) [link]
    • H. Oliver, D. Slater, D. Carroll, M. Wood, M. Morlighem and M.J. Hopwood, Greenland Subglacial Discharge as a Driver of Hotspots of Increasing Coastal Chlorophyll Since the Early 2000s, Geophysical Research Letters 50 (2023) [link]
    • N. Abib, D.A. Sutherland, J.M. Amundson, D. Duncan, E.F. Eidam, R.H. Jackson, C. Kienholz, M. Morlighem, R.J. Motyka, J.D. Nash, B. Ovall and E.C. Pettit, Persistent overcut regions dominate the terminus morphology of a rapidly melting tidewater glacier, Annals of Glaciology (2023) 1-12 [link]
    • I. Das, M. Morlighem, J. Barnes, G.H. Gudmundsson, D. Goldberg and T. Dias dos Santos, In the Quest of a Parametric Relation Between Ice Sheet Model Inferred Weertman’s Sliding‐Law Parameter and Airborne Radar‐Derived Basal Reflectivity Underneath Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, Geophysical Research Letters 50 (2023) [link]
    • William Kochtitzky, Luke Copland, Wesley Van Wychen, Regine Hock, David Rounce, Hester Jiskoot, Ted Scambos, Mathieu Morlighem, Michalea King, Leo Cha, Luke Gould, Paige-Marie Merrill, Andrey Glazovski, Tazio Strozzi, Brice No ̈el, Francisco Navarro, Romain Millan, Julian Dowdeswell, Alison Cook, Abigail Dalton, Shfaqat Khan, and Jacek Jania. Progress towards globally complete frontal ablation estimates of marine-terminating glaciers. Ann. Glaciol., 2023, accepted.
    • E. Schwans, B.R. Parizek, R.B. Alley, S. Anandakrishnan and M.M. Morlighem, Model insights into bed control on retreat of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, Journal of Glaciology (2023) 1-19 [link]
    • S. Ehrenfeucht, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, C.F. Dow and J. Mouginot, Seasonal Acceleration of Petermann Glacier, Greenland, From Changes in Subglacial Hydrology, Geophysical Research Letters 50 (2023) [link]
    • J. Downs, D. Brinkerhoff and M. Morlighem, Inferring time-dependent calving dynamics at Helheim Glacier, Journal of Glaciology (2022) 1-16 [link]
    • J.K. Cuzzone, N.E. Young, M. Morlighem, J.P. Briner and N.-J. Schlegel, Simulating the Holocene deglaciation across a marine-terminating portion of southwestern Greenland in response to marine and atmospheric forcings, The Cryosphere 16 (2022) 2355-72 [link]
    • D.A. Slater, D. Carroll, H. Oliver, M.J. Hopwood, F. Straneo, M. Wood, J.K. Willis and M. Morlighem, Characteristic Depths, Fluxes, and Timescales for Greenland’s Tidewater Glacier Fjords From Subglacial Discharge‐Driven Upwelling During Summer, Geophysical Research Letters 49 (2022) [link]
    • B. Dorschel, L. Hehemann, S. Viquerat, F. Warnke, S. Dreutter, Y.S. Tenberge, D. Accettella, L. An, F. Barrios, E. Bazhenova, J. Black, F. Bohoyo, C. Davey, L. De Santis, C.E. Dotti, A.C. Fremand, P.T. Fretwell, J.A. Gales, J. Gao, L. Gasperini, J.S. Greenbaum, J.H. Jencks, K. Hogan, J.K. Hong, M. Jakobsson, L. Jensen, J. Kool, S. Larin, R.D. Larter, G. Leitchenkov, B. Loubrieu, K. Mackay, L. Mayer, R. Millan, M. Morlighem, F. Navidad, F.O. Nitsche, Y. Nogi, C. Pertuisot, A.L. Post, H.D. Pritchard, A. Purser, M. Rebesco, E. Rignot, J.L. Roberts, M. Rovere, I. Ryzhov, C. Sauli, T. Schmitt, A. Silvano, J. Smith, H. Snaith, A.J. Tate, K. Tinto, P. Vandenbossche, P. Weatherall, P. Wintersteller, C. Yang, T. Zhang and J.E. Arndt, The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean Version 2, Scientific Data 9 (2022) [link]
    • G. Cheng, M. Morlighem, J. Mouginot and D. Cheng, Helheim Glacier’s Terminus Position Controls Its Seasonal and Inter‐Annual Ice Flow Variability, Geophysical Research Letters 49 (2022) [link]
    • H. Åkesson, M. Morlighem, J. Nilsson, C. Stranne and M. Jakobsson, Petermann ice shelf may not recover after a future breakup, Nature Communications 13 (2022) [link]
    • Y. Fischler, M. Rückamp, C. Bischof, V. Aizinger, M. Morlighem and A. Humbert, A scalability study of the Ice-sheet and Sea-level System Model (ISSM, version 4.18), Geoscientific Model Development 15 (2022) 3753-71 [link]
    • D. Felikson, S. Nowicki, I. Nias, M. Morlighem and H. Seroussi, Seasonal Tidewater Glacier Terminus Oscillations Bias Multi‐Decadal Projections of Ice Mass Change, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 127 (2022) [link]
    • T. Frank, H. Åkesson, B. de Fleurian, M. Morlighem and K.H. Nisancioglu, Geometric controls of tidewater glacier dynamics, The Cryosphere 16 (2022) 581-601 [link]
    • R. Millan, J. Mouginot, A. Rabatel and M. Morlighem, Ice velocity and thickness of the world’s glaciers, Nature Geoscience 15 (2022) 124-29 [link]
    • T. Dias dos Santos, M. Morlighem and D. Brinkerhoff, A new vertically integrated MOno-Layer Higher-Order (MOLHO) ice flow model, The Cryosphere 16 (2022) 179-95 [link]
    • M. Morlighem, D. Goldberg, T. Dias dos Santos, J. Lee and M. Sagebaum, Mapping the Sensitivity of the Amundsen Sea Embayment to Changes in External Forcings Using Automatic Differentiation, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]