skip to primary navigation skip to content
 

Robert Law

Robert Law

PhD Candidate, Polar Studies

Rob's PhD involves the use of fibre optic cabling to obtain temperature and strain profiles of ~1 km deep, fast flowing ice at Store Glacier, Greenland. This data reveals phenomenon such as the cold-temperate transition zone, viscous heat dissipation, and the different thermal profile characteristics of glacial and interglacial ice in unprecedented detail. The data will feed into finite element Elmer/Ice modelling studies, to push forward our current understanding of temperate zone importance and rheology.

Biography

Qualifications

  • 2017-2018. MPhil (Distinction) in Polar Studies. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College. Edited thesis published as Law et al. (2020)
  • 2013-2017. BSc (1st class honours) in Natural Sciences (Earth Sciences and Geography). Durham University. Edited dissertation published as Law and Allen (2020)

Awards and scholarships

  • Fitzwilliam College Senior Scholarship (2020)
  • Fitzwilliam College Travel Grant (2019)
  • B. B. Roberts Fund for European Geophysical Union presentation (2019)
  • Fitzwilliam College Senior Scholarship (2018)
  • Fitzwilliam College Graduate Tutors prize (2018)
  • Fitzwilliam College Travel Grant (2018)
  • B. B. Roberts Fund for Greenland fieldwork (2018)
  • PhD 3.5 year Studentship with Research and Training Studentship Grant (2018-2022), Cambridge Earth System Science Doctoral Training Partnership, National Environmental Research Council
  • Debenham Scholarship for MPhil tuition (2017-2018)

Research

My research combines both field and modelling elements. Building on a month of field experience in 2018 and a spring field trip in 2019, I installed fibre optic sensors in 1 km deep boreholes in summer 2019 as part of the RESPONDER team. This provided high accuracy, high resolution temperature measurements at 0.5 m spacing and gives us an unprecedented insight into the thermodynamics of marine-terminating glaciers in Greenland. These results show the feasibility of this technique and will directly feed into modelling efforts to improve understanding of temperate ice processes and heterogeneous ice deformation.

Publications

  • Bryn Hubbard, Poul Christoffersen, Samuel H. Doyle, Thomas R. Chudley, Charlotte M. Schoonman, Robert Law, & Marion Bougamont (2021). Borehole-Based Characterization of Deep Mixed-Mode Crevasses at a Greenlandic Outlet Glacier. AGU Advances, 2(2), e2020AV000291. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020AV000291.
  • Robert Law, Poul Christoffersen, Bryn Hubbard, Samuel H. Doyle, Thomas R. Chudley, Charlotte M. Schoonman, Marion Bougamont, Bas des Tombe, Bart Schilperoort, Cedric Kechavarzi, Adam Booth, & Tun Jan Young (2021). Thermodynamics of a fast-moving Greenlandic outlet glacier revealed by fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing. Science Advances, 7(20), eabe7136. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe7136.
  • Adam Booth, Poul Christoffersen, Charlotte Schoonman, Andy Clarke, Bryn Hubbard, Robert Law, Samuel Doyle, Thomas Chudley, & Athena Chalari. (2020). Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) of Seismic Properties in a Borehole drilled on a Fast-Flowing Greenlandic Outlet Glacier. Geophysical Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL088148.
  • Robert Law, Neil Arnold, Corinne Benedek, Marco Tedesco, Alison Banwell, & Ian Willis (2020). Over-winter persistence of supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet: results and insights from a new model. Journal of Glaciology. https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2020.7.
  • Robert Law & Mark Allen (2020). Diachronous Tibetan Plateau landscape evolution derived from lava field geomorphology. Geology, 48(3), 263–267. https://doi.org/10.1130/g47196.1.

Preprints in review

  • Thomas Chudley, Poul Christoffersen, Samuel Doyle, Tom Dowling, Robert Law, Charlotte Schoonman, Marion Bougamont, & Bryn Hubbard (in revision). Structural controls on the hydrology of crevasses on the Greenland ice sheet. https://doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10502979.1.

Conference contributions (presenting author)

  • Robert Law, Poul Christoffersen, Samuel Cook, Emma MacKie, & Marianne Haseloff (2021). Virtual PICO: 3D modelling of Isbræ-type glaciers and temperate-zone processes. European Geophysical Union, Vienna
  • Robert Law, Poul Christoffersen, Bryn Hubbard, Samuel Doyle, Thomas Chudley, Marion Bougamont, & Charlie Schoonman (2020). Oral presentation: Distributed fibre-optic temperature sensing in a 1 km borehole drilled on a fast-flowing glacier in Greenland. European Geophysical Union, Vienna
  • Robert Law, Neil Arnold, & Corinne Benedek (2019). Poster presentation: Over-winter persistence of supraglacial lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet: results and insights from a new model. European Geophysical Union, Vienna

Teaching

  • Part IA The Cryosphere supervisions
  • Part IA Environmental Change during the Quaternary supervisions
  • Part IB Glacial Processes demonstrating on glacier modelling
  • Part 1B Glacial Processes supervisions

External activities