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Dr Charlotte Schoonman MA, MSci, PhD

Dr Charlotte Schoonman MA, MSci, PhD

Research Associate in Glacier Geophysics

Geophysicist investigating the subglacial properties of the Greenland Ice Sheet using passive seismic techniques



  • March 2018 – present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Scott Polar Research


  • 2013-2017: PhD in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. Dissertation: Vertical Motions at the Fringes of the Icelandic Plume
  • 2011-2012: MSci in Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. Dissertation: Mapping Melt Intrusions Under Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland: Insights from Microseismicity
  • 2008-2011: MA (Cantab.) in Natural Sciences (Physical), University of Cambridge

Awards and scholarships

  • 2013-2017 NERC CASE Studentship (in collaboration with Shell International Exploration)


I am interested in investigating ice sheet dynamics through passive seismological techniques. As glaciers move, a variety of seismic signals are produced which can be used to infer properties of the ice and bedrock underneath it. My current research focuses on resolving the basal hydrological properties of Store Glacier in Greenland, using a network of geophones deployed on the surface and in boreholes. This work is part of the ERC-funded RESPONDER project.

In the past, my research has also focused on

  • constraining the influence of mantle convective processes on the lithosphere of the North Atlantic region using receiver function analysis
  • investigating the significance of the Saffman-Taylor instability in determining the planform shape of the Icelandic mantle plume (see New Scientist article)
  • locating magma migration prior to the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, using microseismic signals



  • Schoonman, C. M., N.J. White, D. Pritchard, 2017. Radial Viscous Fingering of Hot Asthenosphere within the Icelandic Plume beneath the North Atlantic Ocean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 468: 51-61. 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.03.036
  • Tarasewicz, J., R.S. White, B. Brandsdóttir, and C.M. Schoonman, 2014. Seismogenic Magma Intrusion before the 2010 Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland, Geophysical Journal International 198, no. 2: 906–21. 10.1093/gji/ggu169

Conference abstracts

  • White, N.J., C.M. Schoonman, 2017. Radial, viscous Saffman-Taylor fingering of hot asthenosphere associated with the Icelandic plume beneath the North Atlantic Ocean, EGU General Assembly 19, 10115.
  • Schoonman, C.M., N.J. White, R. Luckett, B. Baptie, 2016. Residual topography at the edges of the Icelandic plume, Presentation at AGU Fall Meeting, 156451.
  • White, N.J., C.M. Schoonman, 2016. Radial viscous fingering and its surface expression due to convective upwelling beneath North Atlantic Ocean, AGU Fall Meeting, 125244.
  • Schoonman, C.M., N.J. White and R. Luckett, 2015. Vertical Motions at the edge of the Icelandic plume. EGU General Assembly 17.
  • Schoonman, C.M., N.J. White, 2013. Lithospheric structure around a convective upwelling: receiver function studies of the North Atlantic region, BGA Postgraduate Meeting.


2013-present: Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge

  • Undergraduate Supervisor in Seismology, Structural Geology, Geophysics, Basin Dynamics and Geological Mapping
  • Lab Demonstrator for the Structural Geology, GIS, Geophysics and Basin Formation courses
  • Field Course Demonstrator for the Part IB Geological Mapping and Structural Geology course (Sedbergh), Part II Geophysics and Active Tectonics course (Greece), Part IA Introductory Geology course (Isle of Arran)