Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr. Robert Bingham

Department / group: School of Geosciences / Cryosphere
Personal URL: Not available

Research interests:

Ice Sheets, Ice Caps and Glaciers, Climate and Sea-Level Change, Antarctica and the High Arctic, Ice Radar and Radio-Echo Sounding, Crysopheric Geophysics, Ice-Sheet / Ocean Interactions, Ice Dynamics and Hydrology, Relating Glaciology to Geology and Geomorphology

Career history:

Present: Reader in Glaciology and Geophysics / Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.

Active research projects:

Pine Island Glacier: dynamics, ice flow history, and potential for future change (Funding: NERC iSTAR-C; NERC-GRADES)

Pine Island Glacier (PIG) is West Antarctica’s most rapidly thinning region. My research, in collaboration with researchers at the British Antarctic Survey, and several UK and international university collaborators, is elucidating the potential inland response with continued oceanic and atmospheric warming. In 2007-08 I took part in the first systematic over-snow radar and seismic surveys of PIG’s basal conditions involving 100 days working on the ice. From 2008 I have worked with David Rippin (University of York) and Nanna Karlsson (University of Copenhagen) to investigate past ice-flow dynamics using airborne radar. From 2013 I have been working with BAS and several UK universities on the NERC iSTAR Programme which aims to determine the stability of PIG in the face of continued oceanic forcing. Fieldwork in 2013/2014 with Edinburgh PhD student Damon Davies comprised the UK’s first use of traverse vehicles over PIG in a major scientific campaign, and subsequent analyses are generating some of the world’s first images of the shape of the bed beneath Antarctic ice streams.

Ice-ocean interactions on the Bellingshausen Sea margin, West Antarctica (Funding: NERC/AFI/CGS/11/60)

In 2009/2010 I undertook the first systematic geophysical data acquisition across Ferrigno Ice Stream, a region of notable ice response along the Bellingshausen Sea margin of West Antarctica. A key finding is that the ice response is enhanced and steered inland by the existence of a significant tectonic rift that underlies the ice (Bingham et al.,Nature, 2012). Ongoing work with Edinburgh PhD student Frazer Christie is now investigating the effect of these processes on the regional mass balance, and the extent to which the processes witnessed at Ferrigno Ice Stream typify the response of ice along the Bellingshausen Sea coastline.

Recovering basal boundary conditions and ice-flow histories from aerogeophysical survey data (NERC/AFI/10/18 & NERC/BAS Ice Sheets Programme).

I work with multiple aerogeophysical datasets collected across Antarctica and have been directly involved in the design and acquisition of some of them. I work on developing techniques for extracting basal boundary conditions and information pertinent to ice-flow histories. My particular expertise is in interpretation of radar data, but I dabble in seismics, aeromagnetics and aerogravity in support of my findings.

Recent publications:

R.G. Bingham; D.M. Rippin, N.B. Karlsson, H.F.J. Corr, T.A. Jordan, A.M. Le Brocq, K.C. Rose, N. Ross and M.J. Siegert (2015) Ice‐flow structure and ice‐dynamic changes in the Weddell Sea sector of West Antarctica from radar-imaged internal layering. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120, 655-670. DOI: 10.1002/2014JF003291.

Fogwill, C.J.; R.G. Bingham, A. Mackintosh and D.R. Marchant (2014) Antarctic Science Special Issue in Honour of the Long-standing Contributions of Professor David E. Sugden to Antarctic Geoscience. Antarctic Science Vol. 26, 601-800. DOI: 10.1017/S095410201400073X”>

Ashmore, D.W; R.G. Bingham, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, H.F.J. Corr and I.R. Joughin (2014) The relationship between sticky spots and radar reflectivity beneath an active West Antarctic ice stream. Annals of Glaciology, 55, 29-38. DOI: 10.3189/2014AoG67A052.

Karlsson, N.B.; R.G. Bingham, D.M. Rippin, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, H.F.J. Corr and D.G. Vaughan (2014) Constraining past accumulation in the central Pine Island Glacier basin, West Antarctica, using radio-echo sounding. Journal of Glaciology, 60, 553-562. DOI: 10.3189/2014JoG13J180.

Rippin, D.M.; R.G. Bingham, T.A. Jordan, A.P. Wright, N. Ross, H.F.J. Corr, F. Ferraccioli, A.M. Le Brocq, K.C. Rose and M.J. Siegert (2014) Basal roughness of the Institute and Möller Ice Streams, West Antarctica: process determination and landscape interpretation. Geomorphology, 214, 139-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.01.021.

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