Jeffrey Kavanaugh

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin


Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
(780) 492-1740
3-009 Centennial Ctr For Interdisciplinary SCS II
11335 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



Research area

Glacier Dynamics, Mechanics of Unconsolidated Materials, Subglacial and Groundwater Hydrology, Permafrost and Periglacial Landscapes, Environmental Change, Glacier Response to Changing Climate, Ice Core Paleoclimatology

Research interest

Through my research, I seek to improve our understanding of glacial systems: how they flow and respond to forcings, how they interact with climate and sea level, how they archive past climates, and how they shape the landscape. My current research is focused on how mechanical conditions at the glacier bed are controlled by hydraulic conditions in the subglacial water system. Because the flow and stability characteristics of ice masses are strongly influenced by conditions at the base of the ice, this question is central to the understanding of many interesting aspects of glacier behavior, such as fast flow exhibited by surging glaciers and ice streams. Furthermore, a realistic representation of basal processes is necessary to improve the accuracy of ice sheet models. I use a variety of techniques to investigate the interactions between hydrological and mechanical conditions at the glacier bed, ranging from developing and installing novel subglacial instruments to developing and analyzing numerical models.

Research opportunity

I am currently looking for graduate students for the following projects:

  • Investigating basal processes and ice dynamics of cirque glaciers


EAS 100 - Planet Earth

Introduction to the origin and evolution of the Earth and the solar system. Introduction to plate tectonics and the rock cycle. Simple energy balances and interactions between radiation and the atmosphere, land, oceans, ice masses, and the global hydrological cycle. Evolution of life, biogeography, and global climate in the context of geologic time. The carbon cycle. Human interaction with the Earth. Mineral and energy resources. This course may not be taken for credit if credit has been obtained in EAS 200 or 201.

EAS 327 - Environmental Instrumentation

Laboratory work and lectures to develop skills in environmental measurement through comprehension of first principles. Instrumentation (basic electronics; matching signal sources and receivers; noise; frequency response). Sensor-environment coupling (heat and mass transfer). Sampling theory. Principles will be applied to selected environmental monitoring instruments. Field trip. Prerequisites: EAS 100 or 102 and MATH 113 or 114. SCI 100 may be used in lieu of these prerequisites.

INT D 280 - The Mountain World: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Mountain Studies

An interdisciplinary study of the physical and human dimensions of mountain environments. Content includes the physical (glaciers, climate, geology, etc.), biological (flora, fauna, ecology, etc.), physiological (human bodies at altitude, performance, sport, etc.), and cultural (societies, literature's, histories, etc.) dimensions of these unique regions, as well as a critical analysis of the processes of change and influence shaping local and regional mountain environments around the globe, past and present. (Offered jointly by the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation and the Faculty of Science) [Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation]

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