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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?


Mathieu Morlighem

Evans Family Professor

Department of Earth Sciences

Colin Meyer

Assistant Professor

Thayer School of Engineering

Students and Postdocs

Cheng Gong

Department of Earth Sciences

Aleah Sommers

Thayer school of Engineering

Joel Wilner

PhD Student
Department of Earth Sciences

Mansa Krishna

PhD student
Earth Sciences

Benjy Getraer

PhD student
Earth Sciences


Visiting Graduate student fellowships:We are pleased to announce the Evans Family Short-Term Graduate Student Fellowship Program at Dartmouth College. 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. We anticipate supporting up to 3 student visitors in 2024 and potential hosts include faculty from the Thayer School of Engineering, Earth Sciences, Math, Arctic Studies, and collaborators at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. 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

    • 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]
    • J. Christmann, V. Helm, S.A. Khan, T. Kleiner, R. Müller, M. Morlighem, N. Neckel, M. Rückamp, D. Steinhage, O. Zeising and A. Humbert, Elastic deformation plays a non-negligible role in Greenland’s outlet glacier flow, Communications Earth & Environment 2 (2021) [link]
    • T.D. Santos, J.M. Barnes, D.N. Goldberg, G.H. Gudmundsson and M. Morlighem, Drivers of Change of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, Between 1995 and 2015, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]
    • M. O’Regan, T.M. Cronin, B. Reilly, A.K.O. Alstrup, L. Gemery, A. Golub, L.A. Mayer, M. Morlighem, M. Moros, O.L. Munk, J. Nilsson, C. Pearce, H. Detlef, C. Stranne, F. Vermassen, G. West and M. Jakobsson, The Holocene dynamics of Ryder Glacier and ice tongue in north Greenland, The Cryosphere 15 (2021) 4073-97 [link]
    • T. Pelle, M. Morlighem, Y. Nakayama and H. Seroussi, Widespread Grounding Line Retreat of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica, Over the 21st Century, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]
    • H. Åkesson, M. Morlighem, M. O’Regan and M. Jakobsson, Future Projections of Petermann Glacier Under Ocean Warming Depend Strongly on Friction Law, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 126 (2021) [link]
    • F.S. McCormack, J.L. Roberts, D.E. Gwyther, M. Morlighem, T. Pelle and B.K. Galton‐Fenzi, The Impact of Variable Ocean Temperatures on Totten Glacier Stability and Discharge, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]
    • T.D. dos Santos, M. Morlighem and H. Seroussi, Assessment of numerical schemes for transient, finite-element ice flow models using ISSM v4.18, Geoscientific Model Development 14 (2021) 2545-73 [link]
    • J.M. Barnes, T. Dias dos Santos, D. Goldberg, G.H. Gudmundsson, M. Morlighem and J. De Rydt, The transferability of adjoint inversion products between different ice flow models, The Cryosphere 15 (2021) 1975-2000 [link]
    • A.J. Payne, S. Nowicki, A. Abe‐Ouchi, C. Agosta, P. Alexander, T. Albrecht, X. Asay‐Davis, A. Aschwanden, A. Barthel, T.J. Bracegirdle, R. Calov, C. Chambers, Y. Choi, R. Cullather, J. Cuzzone, C. Dumas, T.L. Edwards, D. Felikson, X. Fettweis, B.K. Galton‐Fenzi, H. Goelzer, R. Gladstone, N.R. Golledge, J.M. Gregory, R. Greve, T. Hattermann, M.J. Hoffman, A. Humbert, P. Huybrechts, N.C. Jourdain, T. Kleiner, P.K. Munneke, E. Larour, S. Le clec ‘h, V. Lee, G. Leguy, W.H. Lipscomb, C.M. Little, D.P. Lowry, M. Morlighem, I. Nias, F. Pattyn, T. Pelle, S.F. Price, A. Quiquet, R. Reese, M. Rückamp, N. Schlegel, H. Seroussi, A. Shepherd, E. Simon, D. Slater, R.S. Smith, F. Straneo, S. Sun, L. Tarasov, L.D. Trusel, J. Van Breedam, R. Wal, M. Broeke, R. Winkelmann, C. Zhao, T. Zhang and T. Zwinger, Future Sea Level Change Under Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 and Phase 6 Scenarios From the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]
    • C. Indrigo, C.F. Dow, J.S. Greenbaum and M. Morlighem, Drygalski Ice Tongue stability influenced by rift formation and ice morphology, Journal of Glaciology (2021) 1-10 [link]
    • E. Rignot, L. An, N. Chauche, M. Morlighem, S. Jeong, M. Wood, J. Mouginot, J.K. Willis, I. Klaucke, W. Weinrebe and A. Muenchow, Retreat of Humboldt Gletscher, North Greenland, Driven by Undercutting From a Warmer Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]
    • Y. Choi, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot and M. Wood, Ice dynamics will remain a primary driver of Greenland ice sheet mass loss over the next century, Communications Earth & Environment 2 (2021) [link]
    • T.L. Edwards, S. Nowicki, B. Marzeion, R. Hock, H. Goelzer, H. Seroussi, N.C. Jourdain, D.A. Slater, F.E. Turner, C.J. Smith, C.M. McKenna, E. Simon, A. Abe-Ouchi, J.M. Gregory, E. Larour, W.H. Lipscomb, A.J. Payne, A. Shepherd, C. Agosta, P. Alexander, T. Albrecht, B. Anderson, X. Asay-Davis, A. Aschwanden, A. Barthel, A. Bliss, R. Calov, C. Chambers, N. Champollion, Y. Choi, R. Cullather, J. Cuzzone, C. Dumas, D. Felikson, X. Fettweis, K. Fujita, B.K. Galton-Fenzi, R. Gladstone, N.R. Golledge, R. Greve, T. Hattermann, M.J. Hoffman, A. Humbert, M. Huss, P. Huybrechts, W. Immerzeel, T. Kleiner, P. Kraaijenbrink, S. Le clec ‘h, V. Lee, G.R. Leguy, C.M. Little, D.P. Lowry, J.-H. Malles, D.F. Martin, F. Maussion, M. Morlighem, J.F. O’Neill, I. Nias, F. Pattyn, T. Pelle, S.F. Price, A. Quiquet, V. Radić, R. Reese, D.R. Rounce, M. Rückamp, A. Sakai, C. Shafer, N.-J. Schlegel, S. Shannon, R.S. Smith, F. Straneo, S. Sun, L. Tarasov, L.D. Trusel, J. Van Breedam, R. van de Wal, M. van den Broeke, R. Winkelmann, H. Zekollari, C. Zhao, T. Zhang and T. Zwinger, Projected land ice contributions to twenty-first-century sea level rise, Nature 593 (2021) 74-82 [link]
    • W. Colgan, J.A. MacGregor, K.D. Mankoff, R. Haagenson, H. Rajaram, Y.M. Martos, M. Morlighem, M.A. Fahnestock and K.K. Kjeldsen, Topographic Correction of Geothermal Heat Flux in Greenland and Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 126 (2021) [link]
    • Daniel Farinotti, Douglas Brinkerhoff, Prateek Fürst, Johannes amd Gantayat, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Matthias Huss, Paul Leclercq, Hansruedi Maurer, Mathieu Morlighem, Ankur Pandit, Antoine Rabatel, Raaj Ramsankaran, Thomas Reerink, Ellen Robo, Emmanuel Rouges, Eric Tamre, Ward J. van Pelt, Mauro A. Werder, Mohd F. Azam, Huilin Li, and Liss M. Andreassen. Results from the Ice Thickness Models Intercomparison eXperiment phase 2 (ITMIX2). Front. Earth Sci. 4 (2021) [link]
    • M. Wood, E. Rignot, I. Fenty, L. An, A. Bjørk, M. van den Broeke, C. Cai, E. Kane, D. Menemenlis, R. Millan, M. Morlighem, J. Mouginot, B. Noël, B. Scheuchl, I. Velicogna, J.K. Willis and H. Zhang, Ocean forcing drives glacier retreat in Greenland, Science Advances 7 (2021) [link]
    • D. Felikson, G. Catania, T.C. Bartholomaus, M. Morlighem and B.P.Y. Noël, Steep Glacier Bed Knickpoints Mitigate Inland Thinning in Greenland, Geophysical Research Letters 48 (2021) [link]