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Robert Dykes

Doctor of Philosophy, (Geography)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
A multi-parameter study of iceberg calving and the retreat of Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Dykes examined the process of iceberg calving from freshwater-terminating glaciers in order to understand how this has controlled the rapid retreat of the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier. He aimed to quantify the extent of the glacier’s retreat since the late 1980s. He used a combination of satellite imagery, time-lapse photography, and seismic recording techniques. Mr Dykes found that the retreat of the glacier has been accelerating due to a combination of climatic and non-climatic forces, such as increased lake water-depth at the glacier front. The combination of techniques he used meant that the dynamics and impacts of iceberg calving were quantified in unprecedented detail. Specifically, it allowed for the development of a model that can forecast iceberg calving probability, the adaption of seismic methods to detect and quantify iceberg calving, and the ability to quantify the impact of the detachment of icebergs on the overall ice-loss budget of water-terminating glaciers.

Professor Gert Lube
Dr Martin Brook
Professor Mark Bebbington