Dr Bryn Hubbard


PI for the project, Bryn is Professor and Director of the Centre for Glaciology, Aberystwyth University. His research focuses on field-based glaciology, specialising in the physical characterization of the englacial and subglacial zones of ice masses through borehole drilling (both by mechanical coring and by hot water) and the development and installation of borehole probes, including optical televiewer (OPTV) and sensor strings. He has successfully combined drilling with borehole-derived data as part of his involvement in numerous scientific programmes, broadly focusing on investigating the internal structure of ice masses – mainly ice shelves – and revealing spatio-temporal patterns in ice-bed coupling and subglacial hydrology. He has drilled boreholes by both mechanical corer and hot water to evaluate the effects of surface melting, including the presence of surface ponds, on the internal structure of ice shelves in both East and West Antarctica. These projects have enabled the identification and quantification of substantial spatial variability in the internal density and temperature of ice shelves in both Antarctic sectors. Since 2010, Hubbard has drilled and instrumented multiple boreholes through ~620 m-thick ice to the bed of rapidly-flowing, marine-terminating Store Glacier, Greenland, revealing spatial patterns in subglacial water pressure and ice-bed coupling. Hubbard has led or participated in field research campaigns in both hemispheres over 29 consecutive years and is well acquainted with the hot-water drilling and borehole instrumentation techniques that he is responsible for within EverDrill.

Excited about the project (science) because:

We know virtually nothing about the internal thermal, mechanical or hydrological properties of high-altitude, debris-covered glaciers such as Khumbu. Although challenging, the EverDrill project has the capacity to advance our knowledge-base substantially.

Excited about the project (non-science) because:

I love travel and exotic places. Who doesn’t want to hike along a river valley in Nepal to the base of Everest?

Favourite spare-time activity:

Easy: fishing, anywhere, anytime.

Highest altitude before the project (and where):

A day hike up to ~5,000 m whilst working in the Peruvian Andes

Worst fieldwork experience:

Ahem; I’ll not get into that – but I never seem to learn to take warm enough clothing… This time I’ll be right.

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