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Dr Nick Rutter

Associate Professor

Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

I am interested in the hydrology of cold environments and how the frozen land surface interacts with the atmosphere. Most of my current research focuses on making improved field measurements of seasonal snow and applying this knowledge in order to better constrain uncertainties in environmental models. Models I work with include catchment scale glacio-hydrological models, snow-forest-atmosphere components of climate models, and radiative transfer models used in microwave remote sensing of snowpacks.

I have extensive experience of making snow measurements in boreal and mid-latitude forests (e.g. Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Rocky Mountains in Canada and USA), Arctic and sub-Arctic tundra (Alaska, USA, and Manitoba, Canada), sea ice (Canadian high-Arctic), and on Alpine and Polar glaciers (e.g. Switzerland, Svalbard). As many of these environments are rapidly responding to a warming climate, better measurement, modelling and critical evaluation of variations in seasonal snow contribute to improved projections of climate change and our understanding of cold regions hydrology.

Campus Address

A215, Ellison Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne


Geography DPhil June 30 2002

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Multi-physics ensemble snow modelling in the western Himalaya, Pritchard, D., Forsythe, N., O'Donnell, G., Fowler, H., Rutter, N. 14 Apr 2020, In: The Cryosphere
  • Derivation and Evaluation of a New Extinction Coefficient for use with the n-HUT Snow Emission Model, Maslanka, W., Sandells, M., Gurney, R., Lemmetyinen, J., Leppänen, L., Kontu, A., Matzl, M., Rutter, N., Watts, T., Kelly, R. 1 Oct 2019, In: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
  • Effect of snow microstructure variability on Ku-band radar snow water equivalent retrievals, Rutter, N., Sandells, M., Derksen, C., King, J., Toose, P., Wake, L., Watts, T., Essery, R., Roy, A., Royer, A., Marsh, P., Larsen, C., Sturm, M. 19 Nov 2019, In: The Cryosphere
  • Shading by trees and fractional snow cover control the subcanopy radiation budget, Malle, J., Rutter, N., Mazzotti, G., Jonas, T. 27 Mar 2019, In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
  • Simulated single-layer forest canopies delay Northern Hemisphere snowmelt, Todt, M., Rutter, N., Fletcher, C., Wake, L. 25 Nov 2019, In: The Cryosphere
  • Simulation of longwave enhancement in boreal and montane forests, Todt, M., Rutter, N., Fletcher, C., Wake, L., Bartlett, P., Jonas, T., Kropp, H., Loranty, M., Webster, C. Dec 2018, In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
  • The influence of snow microstructure on dual-frequency radar measurements in a tundra environment, King, J., Derksen, C., Toose, P., Langlois, A., Larse, C., Lemmetyinen, J., Marsh, P., Montpetit, B., Roy, A., Rutter, N., Sturm, M. 15 Sep 2018, In: Remote Sensing of Environment
  • Three-dimensional thermal characterization of forest canopies using UAV photogrammetry, Webster, C., Westoby, M., Rutter, N., Jonas, T. May 2018, In: Remote Sensing of Environment
  • Centreline and cross-glacier air temperature variability on an Alpine glacier: assessing temperature distribution methods and their influence on melt model calculations, Shaw, T., Brock, B., Ayala, Á., Rutter, N., Pellicciotti, F. Dec 2017, In: Journal of Glaciology
  • Improving representation of canopy temperatures for modeling subcanopy incoming longwave radiation to the snow surface, Webster, C., Rutter, N., Jonas, T. 16 Sep 2017, In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres

PGR Supervision

  • Victoria Dutch Start: 01/10/2019
  • Johanna Malle Snow albedo in forested environments Start: 01/10/2017
  • Markus Todt Impact of longwave enhancement by forests on snow cover in a global climate model Start: 01/02/2016


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