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Catriona Fyffe


Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

Campus Address

City Campus
Northumbria University

0191 227 3956


  • PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Worcester
  • PhD Geography (The hydrology of debris-covered glaciers), University of Dundee
  • BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Science, University of Dundee

Key Publications and Outputs

Shaw, T. E., Brock, B. W., Fyffe, C. L., Pellicciotti, F., Rutter, N. and Diotri, F. (2016) Air temperature distribution and energy balance modelling of adebris-covered glacier, Journal of Glaciology, 62 (231) 


Fyffe, C. L., Reid, T. D., Brock, B. W., Kirkbride, M. P., Diolaiuti, G., Smiraglia, C. and Diotri, F. (2014) A distributed energy-balance melt model of an alpinedebris-covered glacier, Journal of Glaciology, 60 (221) 587-602

Fyffe, C. L. (2013) Section 4.3: Tracer Investigations. In: Clarke, L. (ed.) Geomorphological Techniques (Online Edition). British Society for Geomorphology; London, UK. ISSN: 2047-0371

Fyffe, C. L. (2012) The hydrology of debris-covered glaciers, University of Dundee, PhD thesis



Current and Recent Projects

Ablation and debris cover formation in dirty ice areas, British Society for Geomorphology and NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility, Nov 2016, Principal Investigator


Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My main interests are in glaciology and hydrology and I specialise in understanding how a supraglacial debris cover influences glacier melt rates and the glacier-hydrological system. My work requires the use of techniques such as dye tracing, measurements of glacier velocity using differential GPS systems and monitoring of the proglacial stream discharge and water chemistry.  I also model melt rates from meteorological data to better understand the influence of a debris cover on glacial melt. More recently, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones) have become a useful tool within my research, since they can be used to collect high resolution imagery and elevation data about rivers and glaciers.

I am currently involved with three strands of glaciology/hydrology research:

  • Ice melt (ablation) and debris cover formation in dirty ice areas (where ice has a discontinuous cover of debris), investigated using UAVs and modelling methods;
  • The hydrology of debris-covered glaciers - specifically the impact of a debris cover on the structure and evolution of the hydrological system, and consequent impacts on the glacier dynamics and proglacial runoff signal;

Sponsors and Collaborators


  • British Society for Geomorphology
  • NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility


  • Prof Ben Brock and Dr Matt Westoby (Northumbria University)
  • Dr Martin Kirkbride and Dr Andrew Black (University of Dundee)
  • Dr Tom Shaw (Universidad de Chile)
  • Dr Amy Woodget (University of Worcester)
  • Dr Patrice Carbonneau (Durham University)


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