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Marion Bougamont, MSc, PhD

Marion Bougamont, MSc, PhD

Senior Research Associate

Glaciologist using modelling techniques to study the dynamics and subglacial processes that affect the mass balance of ice sheets.



  • 2018 to present: Senior Research Associate, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge (UK)
  • 2017: Visiting researcher at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury (NZ)
  • 2011: Green Scholar at the IGPP, Scripps Institute of Oceanography (San Diego, USA)
  • 2007-2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge (UK)
  • 2006, 2008: Maternity leaves
  • 2003-2006: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bristol Glaciology Centre, Bristol (UK)


  • BSc in Geophysics, University of Strasbourg (France) - 1997
  • MSc in Geophysics, University of Grenoble (France) - 1999
  • PhD in Earth Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz (USA) - 2003


My research primarily aims at improving the understanding of the basal mechanics of glaciers and ice streams in Antarctica and Greenland. In particular, I study how their effect on bed resistance controls the short and long-term variability of ice flow.

I am modelling ice flow dynamics in Greenland as part of the SAFIRE and RESPONDER projects, aiming at a better understanding of the short and longer-term response of ice flow, when large volumes of surface meltwater reach the glacier’s bed each summer. To do so, I integrate data recently collected at the base of Store Glacier (Western Greenland) into a model of basal processes coupled to the community ice sheet model CISM 2.0. For these projects, I focus on how the input of surface meltwater to the bed changes the speed of the glacier’s flow, mainly from altering the thermal energy balance near the base, and from interacting with subglacial sediments found beneath Store Glacier.

As part of the iSTAR programme, I recently investigated the role of subglacial processes in the persistent acceleration of Pine Island Glacier, a fast-flowing glacier located in West Antarctica and currently responsible for 20% of its total ice loss. Due to high frictional heat production, water exist in abundance at the base of Pine Island Glacier. Using multiple inversions of observed surface velocities, it is possible to infer changes in the production and distribution of water for the entire basin, and to furthermore establish a link with the evolution of bed strength beneath the glacier. Overall, this work aims at a better understanding of subglacial hydrological controls on fast flowing glaciers of Antarctica.

Research funding

  • 2021-2024 Impact of deep groundwater on ice stream flow in West Antarctica (IGIS) – Natural Environment Research Council, GBP 170K to SPRI. Researcher Co-investigator with B. Kulessa (PI), P. Christoffersen (Co-PI), and Co-Is M. Siegert, A. Luckman, A. Smith, A. Brisbourne.
  • 2019-2024 TIME: Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution - Co-funded by the US National Science Foundation and the UK Natural Environment Research Council, GBP 409K to SPRI. Researcher Co-investigator with P. Christoffersen (UK PI, SPRI), S. Tulaczyk (US PI, UC Santa Cruz), and Co-Is from universities in Leeds, Stanford, Texas and Oklahoma.
  • 2016-2021 Named researcher in the project: Resolving subglacial properties, hydrological networks and dynamic evolution of ice flow on the Greenland Ice Sheet (RESPONDER) – European Research Council, GBP 2.4M to P. Christoffersen (PI)
  • 2013-2016 Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment - Natural Environment Research Council, GBP 257K to SPRI, Research Co-investigator with P. Christoffersen (PI), B. Hubbard (Co-I) and A. Hubbard (Co-I).
  • 2012-2016 Named PDRA in the project: iSTAR-C: Dynamical Control on the Response of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica - Natural Environment Research Council, GBP 114K to SPRI, with D. Vaughan (PI), P. Christoffersen (Co-I) and Co-Is from universities in Bristol, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Leeds.
  • 2012-2014 Isaac Newton Trust Fellowship, with P. Christoffersen, GBP 42K 
  • 2009-2012 Named PDRA in the project: Investigating the Dynamic Response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to Climate Forcing using a Geophysical, Remote-Sensing and Numerical Modelling Framework - Natural Environment Research Council, GBP 88K, A. Hubbard (PI), P. Christoffersen (Co-I), B.Kulessa (Co-I).
  • 2007-2010 Understanding contemporary changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet - Natural Environment research Council, GBP 168K, Researcher Co-investigator with A. Payne (PI), P. Christoffersen (Co-I) and A. Vieli (Co-I).
  • 2003 Marie Curie Fellowship: 2 years of funding (EURO 85K) – declined in favor of the postdoctoral position taken in Bristol.

Research articles in the spotlight:


Selected publications


  • Bougamont, M., P. Christoffersen, I. Nias, D.G. Vaughan, A.M. Smith, A. Brisbourne,  Contrasting hydrological controls on bed properties during the acceleration of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, submitted to JGR-Earth Surface, in revisions.

  • Christoffersen, P., Bougamont, M., Hubbard, A., Samuel, D., Shane, G. and Rickard, P., 2018. Cascading lake drainage on the Greenland Ice Sheet triggered by tensile shock and fracture. Nature Communications.,v. 9, 1064, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03420-8

  • Doyle, S.H., Hubbard, B., Christoffersen, P., Young, T.J., Hofstede, C., Bougamont, M.H., Box, J.E. and Hubbard, A., 2018. Physical conditions of fast glacier flow: 1. Measurements from boreholes drilled to the bed of Store Glacier, West Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 123.

  • Siegert, M., Kulessa, B., Bougamont, M.H., Christoffersen, P., Key, K., Andersen, K., Booth, A. and Smith, A. 2018. Antarctic subglacial groundwater: a concept paper on its measurement and potential influence on ice flow. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 461, 197-213,


  • Kulessa, B., Hubbard, A.L., Booth, A.D., Bougamont, M., Dow, C.F., Doyle, S.H., Christoffersen, P., Lindbäck, K., Pettersson, R., Fitzpatrick, A.A.W. and Jones, G.A., 2017. Seismic evidence for complex sedimentary control of Greenland Ice Sheet flow. Science Advances, v. 3, p.e1603071-. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1603071


  • Bougamont, M., P. Christoffersen, S. Price, H.A. Fricker, S. Tulaczyk, S.P. Carter, 2015. Reactivation of Kamb Ice Stream tributaries in West Antarctica triggers century-scale reorganization of Siple Coast ice flow, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL065782.


  • Bougamont, M., P. Christoffersen, A.L. Hubbard, A.A. Fitzpatrick, S.H. Doyle and S.P. Carter, 2014: Sensitive response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to surface melt drainage over a soft bed, Nature Communications, 5:5052, doi:10.1038/ncomms6052

  • Christoffersen, P., M. Bougamont, S.P. Carter, H.A. Fricker and S.M. Tulaczyk, 2014, Significant groundwater contribution to Antarctic ice streams hydrologic budget, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2014GL059250

  • Beem, L.H., S.M. Tulaczyk, M.A. King, M. Bougamont, H.A. Fricker and P. Christoffersen, 2014: Variable Deceleration of Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, vol. 119, doi:10.1002/2013JF002958


  • van der Wel, N., P. Christoffersen and M. Bougamont, 2013: The influence of subglacial hydrology on the flow of Kamb Ice Stream, West Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, vol. 118, 1-14, doi:10.1029/2012JF002570



  • Bougamont, M., S. Price, P. Christoffersen, A. Payne, 2011: Dynamic patterns of ice stream flow in a 3D higher-order ice sheet model with plastic bed and simplified hydrology, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 116, F04018, doi:10.1029/2011JF002025.


  • Bougamont, M., J.L. Bamber, J.K. Ridley, R.M. Gladstone, W. Greuell, E. Hanna, A.J. Payne and I. Rutt, 2007: Impact of model physics on estimating the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L17501, doi:10.1029/2007GL030700

  • Bougamont, M., E.C.Hunke and S. Tulaczyk, 2007: Sensitivity of ocean circulation to loss of West Antarctic ice shelves and ice sheet, Journal of Glaciology, 53(182), 490-498


  • Bougamont, M., J.L. Bamber and W. Greuell, 2005: A surface mass balance model for the Greenland Ice Sheet, Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, F04018, doi:10.1029/2005JF000348


  • Bougamont, M., S. Tulaczyk and I. Joughin, 2003: Response of subglacial sediments to basal freeze-on 2. Application in numerical modelling ot the recent stoppage of Ice Stream C, West Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(B4), 2223, doi:10.1029/2002JB001936

  • Bougamont, M., S. Tulaczyk and I. Joughin, 2003: Numerical investigations of the slow-down of Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica: is it shutting down like Ice Stream C?, Annals of Glaciology, 37, pp 239-246

  • Bougamont, M., and S. Tulaczyk, 2003: Glacial erosion beneath ice streams and ice-stream tributaries: constraints on temporal and spatial distribution of erosion from numerical simulations of a West Antarctic ice stream, Boreas, 32, pp 178-190. doi:10.1080/03009480310001092

External activities

  • Member, International Glaciological Society
  • Member, American Geophysical Union