Photograph of Professor Alun Hubbard.Professor Alun Hubbard

PhD (Edinburgh University)


Office: J10
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622 591
Personal Web Site:


  • Degree Scheme Leader - (for 3rd Years & 2nd semester 2nd Years)
  • SRIF3 Ice & Climate Facility budget administrator.

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

Module coordinator for:

  • Research Dissertation In Glaciology (EAM3360)

Contributes to:

  • Geographic Data Aquisition, Analysis And Presentation (GG10720)
  • Global Environmental Issues (GG12710)
  • Palaeoglaciology (GG33920)
  • Advanced Research Skills (EAM1120)
  • Glaciological Field Techniques (EAM2320)
  • Approaches To Glaciology (EAM0820)
  • Glacial Processes And Products (EAM1020)


Recent News

Dr Alun Hubbard along with researchers from the University of St Andrews have completed a detailed and thorough survey of the interface between a large marine-terminating glacier and the ocean.

Using a technique called side-scanning-sonar operated from their research vessel Gambo during July 2012, Dr Hubbard and his team from Aberystwyth University mapped changes in the ice-front of Store Glacier on the West Coast of Greenland. This glacier is an outlet for the Greenland ice sheet.

The team’s work was filmed as part of a documentary for the BBC, Operation Iceberg, which goes out at 9pm on BBC Two on Tuesday 30th October.

Further information about Operation Iceberg is available online at

Dr Alun Hubbard, has also recently appeared in the final edition of the BBC’s highly acclaimed series Frozen Planet. The final edition saw series presenter David Attenborough meet up with Dr Hubbard on the Greenland Ice sheet as he journeyed to both Poles to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet.

Dr Alun Hubbard and colleagues at the Centre for Glaciology at Aberystwyth University have established a new website dedicated to the research they are undertaking on the Greenland Ice sheet.

The site provides a fascinating introduction to the ice sheet, the second largest ice mass on the planet which accounts for roughly 11% of the global ice surface area.

With stunning photography and moving images, the site provides a dramatic insight into life and work in this hostile environment and provides detailed information on the three principal areas where Dr Hubbard and his team are working, the Russell Glacier catchment near Kangerlussuaq, the Uummannaq region of West Greenland and the Peterman Glacier in the very far North West.

Group Affiliation

Research Interests

My focus is on the links between the cryosphere, landscape and atmosphere on a variety of temporal- and spatial-scales from the ‘deep’ (geological) past to the (socially-relevant) near future. I use field-data to guide computer simulations of glaciers and ice-sheets to understand their dynamics and non-linear (potentially catastrophic) response to climate forcing. Current work includes the application of modelling to predict the future trajectory of glaciers and ice-masses in Antarctica, Patagonia, the New Zealand and European Alps, Iceland, Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic to understand how they will increasingly impact on society through changing runoff and water-supply, increased exposure to hazard and rising sea-level. Models applied to the (deep) past provide insight into abrupt cryospheric adjustment with an emphasis on palaeo-analogues for the potential collapse of the polar ice sheets. I have recently been working in Greenland using dGPS to investigate the dynamic sensitivity of the ice sheet to rapid glacial lake drainage.


Alun joined IGES in April, 2007 as a lecturer after an eclectic career spanning much of the planet. After graduating from Oxford in 1990 he took time off to travel SE Asia and when money ran out enrolled in a PhD at Edinburgh University to study the response of Patagonian and Alpine glaciers to climate change. In 1997 he started one of many fellowships, first based at UBC, Vancouver, then to New Zealand in 1999 working for Canterbury University, in Antarctica and finally returning to Edinburgh in 2003. After a brief stint as a cruise-ship lecturer and entertainer, he has hung up his boots and settled down back in his home-town. He is Secretary of the British Branch of the International Glaciological Society.



Mikkelsen, A..B., Hubbard, A., MacFerrin, M., Box, J.E., Doyle, S., Fitzpatrick, A., Hasholt, B., Bailey, H.L., Lindbäck, K., Pettersson, R. 2016. Extraordinary runoff from the Greenland ice sheet in 2012 amplified by hypsometry and depleted firn retention. Cryosphere 10 pp. 1147-1159. 10.5194/tc-10-1147-2016

Brough, S., Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A. 2016. Former extent of glacier-like forms on Mars. Icarus 274 pp. 37-49. 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.03.006

Young, T.J., Christoffersen, P., Nicholls, K., Lok, L.B., Doyle, S., Hubbard, B., Stewart, C., Hofstede, C., Bougamont, M., Todd, J., Brennan, P., Hubbard, A. 2016. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 2. High magnitude englacial strain detected with autonomous phase-sensitive FMCW radar on Store Glacier, West Greenland. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17/04/2016 - 22/04/2016.

Hubbard, B., Doyle, S., Christoffersen, P., Young, T.J., Hofstede, C., Hubbard, A., Box, J., Todd, J., Bougamont, M. 2016. The Subglacial Access and Fast Ice Research Experiment (SAFIRE): 1. Borehole-based englacial and subglacial measurements from a rapidly-moving tidewater glacier: Store Glacier, Greenland . European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17/04/2016 - 22/04/2016.


Doyle, S., Hubbard, A., van de Wal, R., Box, J.., van As, D., Scharrer, K., Meierbachtol, T., Smeets, P.., Harper, J., Johansson, E.., Mottram, R., Mikkelsen, A., Wilhelms, F., Patton, H., Christoffersen, P., Hubbard, B. 2015. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall. Nature Geoscience 10.1038/NGEO2482 Other

Cook, J., Edwards, A., Hubbard, A. 2015. Biocryomorphology: Integrating Microbial Processes with Ice Surface Hydrology, Topography, and Roughness. Frontiers in Earth Science 10.3389/feart.2015.00078

Dow, C.F., Kulessa, B., Rutt, I.C., Tsai, V.C., Pimental, S., Doyle, S.H., Van As, D., Lindbäck, K., Pettersson, R., Jones, G.A., Hubbard, A. 2015. Modeling of subglacial hydrological development following rapid supraglacial lake drainage. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120 (6) pp. 1124-1147. 10.1002/2014JF003333

Van de Wal, R.S.W., Smeets, C.J.P.P., Boot, W., Stoffelen, M., Van Kampen, R., Doyle, S.H., Wilhelms, F., van den Broeke, M.R., Reijmer, C.H., Oerlemans, J., Hubbard, A. 2015. Self-regulation of ice flow varies across the ablation area in South-West Greenland. Cryosphere 9 (2) pp. 603-611. 10.5194/tc-9-603-2015

Lindbäck, K., Pettersson, R., Hubbard, A., Doyle, S., Van As, D., Mikkelsen, A.B., Fitzpatrick, A.A.W. 2015. Subglacial water drainage, storage, and piracy beneath the Greenland ice sheet. Geophysical Research Letters 42 (18) pp. 7606-7614. 10.1002/2015GL065393


Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Hubbard, A.L., Box, J.E., Quincey, D.J., Van As, D., Mikkelsen, A.., Doyle, S.H., Dow, C.F., Hasholt, B., Jones, G.A. 2014. A decade (2002–2012) of supraglacial lake volume estimates across Russell Glacier, West Greenland. Cryosphere 8 (1) pp. 107-121. 10.5194/tc-8-107-2014

Lindback, K., Pettersson, R., Doyle, S.H., Helanow, C., Jansson, P., Kristensen, S.S., Stenseng, L., Forsberg, R., Hubbard, A. 2014. High-resolution ice thickness and bed topography of a land-terminating section of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Earth System Science Data 6 pp. 331-338. 10.5194/essd-6-331-2014

Chauche, N., Hubbard, A., Gascard, J., Box, J.E., Bates, R., Koppes, M., Sole, A., Christoffersen, P., Patton, H. 2014. Ice–ocean interaction and calving front morphology at two west Greenland tidewater outlet glaciers. Cryosphere 8 (4) pp. 1457-1468. 10.5194/tc-8-1457-2014 Other

Doyle, S.H., Hubbard, A.L., Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Van As, D., Mikkelsen, A.., Pettersson, R., Hubbard, B.P. 2014. Persistent flow acceleration within the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Geophysical Research Letters 41 (3) pp. 899-905. 10.1002/2013GL058933

Ryan, J.C., Hubbard, A.L., Todd, J., Carr, J.R., Box, J.E., Christoffersen, P., Holt, T.O., Snooke, N. 2014. Repeat UAV photogrammetry to assess calving front dynamics at a large outlet glacier draining the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryosphere Discussions 8 (2) pp. 2243-2275. 10.5194/tcd-8-2243-2014 Other

Bougamont, M., Christoffersen, P., Hubbard, A., Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Doyle, S.H., Carter, S.P. 2014. Sensitive response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to surface melt drainage over a soft bed. Nature Communications 5 5052 10.1038/ncomms6052 Other

Dow, C.F., Kulessa, B., Rutt, I.C., Doyle, S.H., Hubbard, A. 2014. Upper bounds on subglacial channel development for interior regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Journal of Glaciology 60 (224) pp. 1044-1052. 10.3189/2014JoG14J093 Other


Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Hubbard, A.L., Box, J.E., Quincey, D.J., Van As, D., Mikkelsen, A.P.B., Doyle, S.H., Dow, C.F., Hasholt, B., Jones, G.A. 2013. A decade of supraglacial lake volume estimates across a land-terminating margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryosphere Discussions 7 (2) pp. 1383-1414. 10.5194/tcd-7-1383-2013 Other

Jones, G.A., Kulessa, B., Doyle, S.H., Dow, C.F., Hubbard, A.L. 2013. An automated approach to the location of icequakes using seismic waveform amplitudes. Annals of Glaciology 54 (64) pp. 1-9. 10.3189/2013AoG64A074

Chandler, D.M., Wadham, J.L., Lis, G.P., Cowton, T., Sole, A., Bartholomew, I., Telling, J., Nienow, P., Bagshaw, E.B., Mair, D., Vinen, S., Hubbard, A. 2013. Evolution of the subglacial drainage system beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet revealed by tracers. Nature Geoscience 6 (3) pp. 195-198. 10.1038/ngeo1737 Other

Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Hubbard, A.L., Joughin, I., Quincey, D.J., Van As, D., Mikkelsen, A.., Doyle, S.H., Hasholt, B., Jones, G.A. 2013. Ice flow dynamics and surface meltwater flux at a land-terminating sector of the Greenland ice sheet. Journal of Glaciology 59 (216) pp. 687-696. 10.3189/2013JoG12J143

Doyle, S.H., Hubbard, A.L., Dow, C.F., Jones, G.A., Fitzpatrick, A.A.W., Gusmeroli, A., Kulessa, B., Lindback, K., Pettersson, R., Box, J.E. 2013. Ice tectonic deformation during the rapid in situ drainage of a supraglacial lake on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryosphere 7 (1) pp. 129 - 140. 10.5194/tc-7-129-2013 Other

Ahlstrøm, A.P., Andersen, S.B., Andersen, M.L., Machguth, H., Nick, F.M., Joughin, I., Reijmer, C.H., Van De Wal, R.S.W., Merryman Boncori, J.P., Box, J.E., Citterio, M., Van As, D., Fausto, R.S., Hubbard, A. 2013. Seasonal velocities of eight major marine-terminating outlet glaciers of the Greenland ice sheet from continuous in situ GPS instruments. Earth System Science Data Discussions 6 (1) pp. 27-57. 10.5194/essdd-6-27-2013 Other

Dow, C.F., Hubbard, A.L., Booth, A.D., Doyle, S.H., Gusmeroli, A., Kulessa, B. 2013. Seismic evidence of mechanically weak sediments underlying Russell Glacier, West Greenland. Annals of Glaciology 54 (64) pp. 135-141. 10.3189/2013AoG64A032

Patton, H., Hubbard, A., Glasser, N.F., Bradwell, T., Golledge, N.R. 2013. The last Welsh Ice Cap: Part 1-Modelling its evolution, sensitivity and associated climate. Boreas 42 (3) pp. 471-490. 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2012.00300.x

Patton, H., Hubbard, A., Glasser, N.F., Bradwell, T., Golledge, N.R. 2013. The last Welsh Ice Cap: Part 2 - Dynamics of a topographically controlled icecap. Boreas 42 (3) pp. 491-510. 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2012.00301.x

Wolff, I.W., Glasser, N.F., Hubbard, A. 2013. The reconstruction and climatic implication of an independent palaeo ice cap within the Andean rain shadow east of the former Patagonian ice sheet, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Geomorphology 185 pp. 1-15. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.10.018


Neal, M.J., Blanchard, T., Hubbard, A.L., Chauché, N., Bates, R., Woodward, J. 2012. A hardware proof of concept for a remote-controlled glacier-surveying boat. Journal of Field Robotics 29 (6) pp. 880-890. 10.1002/rob.21420

Van As, D., Hubbard, A.L., Hasholt, B., Mikkelsen, A.B., Van Den Broeke, M.R., Fausto, R.S. 2012. Large surface meltwater discharge from the Kangerlussuaq sector of the Greenland ice sheet during the record-warm year 2010 explained by detailed energy balance observations. Cryosphere 6 (1) pp. 199-209. 10.5194/tc-6-199-2012

Nick, F.M., Luckman, A., Vieli, A., Van Der Veen, C.J., Van As, D., Van De Wal, R.S.W., Pattyn, F., Hubbard, A., Floricioiu, D. 2012. The response of Petermann Glacier, Greenland, to large calving events, and its future stability in the context of atmospheric and oceanic warming. Journal of Glaciology 58 (208) pp. 229-239. 10.3189/2012JoG11J242 Other

Booth, A.D., Clark, R., Kulessa, B., Murray, T., Carter, J., Doyle, S.H., Hubbard, A.L. 2012. Thin-layer effects in glaciological seismic amplitude-versus-angle (AVA) analysis: implications for characterising a subglacial till unit, Russell Glacier, West Greenland. Cryosphere 6 pp. 909-922. 10.5194/tc-6-909-2012


Bentley, M.J., Sugden, D.E., Fogwill, C., Le Brocq, A.M., Hubbard, A., Dunai, T.J., Freeman, S. 2011. Deglacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment: Constraints on past ice volume change: REPLY. Geology 39 (5) e240 10.1130/G32140Y.1

Heyman, J., Stroeven, A.P., Caffee, M.W., Hattestrand, C., Harbor, J.M., Li, Y., Alexanderson, H., Zhou, L., Hubbard, A. 2011. Palaeoglaciology of Bayan Har Shan, NE Tibetan Plateau: exposure ages reveal a missing LGM expansion. Quaternary Science Reviews 30 (15-16) pp. 15-16. Cadair

Irvine-Fynn, T.D.L., Hodson, A.J., Moorman, B.J., Vatne, G., Hubbard, A.L. 2011. Polythermal glacier hydrology: a review. Reviews of Geophysics 49 (4) RG4002 10.1029/2010RG000350

Hubbard, A. 2011. The Times Atlas and actual Greenland ice loss. Geology Today 27 (6) pp. 212-215. 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2011.00812.x


Le Brocq, A.M., Hubbard, A.L., Fogwill, C.J., Dunai, T.J., Sugden, D.E., Freeman, S.P.H.T., Bentley, M.J. 2010. Deglacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Weddell Sea embayment: Constraints on past ice volume change. Geology 38 (5) pp. 411-414. 10.1130/G30754.1 Cadair

Hambrey, M.J., Bamber, J., Christoffersen, P., Glasser, N.F., Hubbard, A.L., Hubbard, B.P., Larter, R. 2010. Glaciers – no nonsense science. Geoscientist 20 (6) pp. 18-23. Other

Nienow, P., Sole, A., Bartholomew, I., Hubbard, A.L., Mair, D., King, M.A. 2010. Seasonal evolution of subglacial drainage and acceleration in a Greenland outlet glacier. Nature Geoscience 55 (189) pp. 408-411. 10.1038/NGEO863 Cadair


Hubbard, A.L., Bradwell, T., Golledge, N., Hall, A., Patton, H., Sugden, D., Cooper, R., Stoker, M. 2009. Dynamic cycles, ice streams and their impact on the extent, chronology and deglaciation of the British–Irish ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 28 (7-8) pp. 758-776. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.12.026 Cadair

Shepherd, A., Hubbard, A., Nienow, P., King, M., McMillan, M., Joughin, I. 2009. Greenland ice sheet motion coupled with daily melting in late summer. Geophysical Research Letters 36 L01501 10.1029/2008GL035758 Cadair

Golledge, N., Hubbard, A., Bradwell, T. 2009. Influence of seasonality on glacier mass balance, and implications for palaeoclimate reconstructions. Climate Dynamics 35 (5) pp. 757-770. 10.1007/s00382-009-0616-6 Cadair

Golledge, N.R., Hubbard, A.L., Sugden, D.E. 2009. Mass balance, flow, and subglacial processes of a modelled Younger Dryas ice cap in Scotland. Journal of Glaciology 55 (189) pp. 32-42. 10.3189/002214309788608967 Cadair


Bingham, R.G., Hubbard, A.L., Nienow, P.W., Sharp, M.J. 2008. An investigation into the mechanisms controlling seasonal speedup events at a High Arctic glacier. Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (F2) pp. F02006. 10.1029/2007JF000832 Cadair Other

Booth, A.D., Hobbs, A., Hubbard, A.L., Kulessa, B. 2008. Automated monitoring of subglacial hydrological processes with ground-penetrating radar (GPR) at high temporal resolution: scope and potential pitfalls. Geophysical Research Letters 35 (24) 10.1029/2008GL035855 Cadair

Pattyn, F., Perichon, L., Aschwanden, A., Breuer, B., de Smedt, B., Gagliardini, O., Gudmundsson, G.H., Hindmarsh, R.C., Hubbard, A.L., Johnson, J.V., Kleiner, T., Konovalov, Y., Martin, C., Payne, A.J., Pollard, D., Price, S., Rückamp, M., Saito, F., Souček, O., Sugiyama, S., Zwinger, T. 2008. Benchmark experiments for higher-order and full-Stokes ice sheet models (ISMIP-HOM). Cryosphere 2 (95-108) pp. 95-108. 10.5194/tc-2-95-2008 Cadair

Lax, S.M., Hubbard, A.L., Hein, A.S., Kaplan, M.R. 2008. Can glacial erosion limit the extent of glaciation? Geomorphology 103 (2) pp. 172-179. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.04.020 Cadair

Golledge, N., Hubbard, A., Sugden, D. 2008. High-resolution numerical simulation of Younger Dryas glaciation in Scotland. Quaternary Science Reviews 27 (9-10) pp. 888-904. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.01.019 Cadair

Hubbard, A.L., Kirchner, N. 2008. Interactive comment on "Lessons from the short history of ice sheet model intercomparison" by E. Bueler.

Chandler, D.M., Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A.L., Murray, T., Rippin, D. 2008. Optimising ice flow law parameters using borehole deformation measurements and numerical modelling. Geophysical Research Letters 35 (12) 10.1029/2008GL033801 Cadair Other

Le Brocq, A., Hubbard, A., Bentley, M., Bamber, J. 2008. Subglacial topography inferred from ice surface terrain analysis reveals a large un-surveyed basin below sea level in East Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters 35 (16) pp. 3. 10.1029/2008GL034728 Cadair

Finlayson, A.G., Long, D., Golledge, N.R., Merritt, J.W., Wilson, C.K., Mathers, H.E., Everest, J.D., Stoker, M.S., Stevenson, A.G., Hestvik, O.B., Hubbard, A.L., Bradwell, T. 2008. The northern sector of the last British Ice Sheet: Maximum extent and demise. Earth-Science Reviews 88 (03/04/2012) pp. 207-226. 10.1016/j.earscirev.2008.01.008 Cadair


Chandler, D.M., Hubbard, A.L., Hubbard, B., Nienow, P.W. 2006. A Monte Carlo error analysis for basal sliding velocity calculations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 111 (F4) F04005 10.1029/2006JF000476 Cadair Other

Sugden, D., Hubbard, A.L., Dugmore, A., Norddahl, H. 2006. A modelling insight into the Icelandic Last Glacial Maximum ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 25 (17-18) pp. 2283-2296. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.04.001 Cadair

Hubbard, A.L. 2006. The validation and sensitivity of a model of the Icelandic ice sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 25 (17-18) pp. 2297-2313. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.04.005 Cadair


Hulton, N.R.J., Hein, A.S., Kaplan, M.R., Hubbard, A.L. 2005. A modelling reconstruction of the Last Glacial Maximum Ice Sheet and its deglaciation in the vicinity of the Northern Patagonian Icefield, South America. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography 87 (2) pp. 375-391. 10.1111/j.0435-3676.2005.00264.x Other Cadair

Hambrey, M.J., Murray, T., Glasser, N.F., Hubbard, A.L., Hubbard, B., Stuart, G., Hansen, S., Kohler, J. 2005. Structure and changing dynamics of a polythermal valley glacier on a centennial timescale: Midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. Journal of Geophysical Research 110 (F1) F01006 10.1029/2004JF000128


Hubbard, A.L., Lawson, W., Anderson, B., Hubbard, B., Blatter, H. 2004. Evidence for subglacial ponding across Taylor Glacier, Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Annals of Glaciology 39 (1) pp. 79-84. 10.3189/172756404781813970 Other Cadair


Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A.L., Mader, H.M., Tison, J., Grust, K., Nienow, P. 2003. Spatial variability in the water content and rheology of temperate glaciers: Glacier de Tsanfleuron, Switzerland. Annals of Glaciology 37 (1) pp. 1-6. 10.3189/172756403781815474 Other Cadair