Martin Sharp


Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin



Research area
  • Glacier-climate interactions in the Canadian Arctic
  • Hydrology and dynamics of ice cap tidewater outlet glaciers
  • Glaciological remote sensing
  • Biogeochemistry, chemical weathering, and carbon cycling in glacial environments
Research interest

Martin Sharp is a glaciologist with particular interests in interactions between glaciers and the climate system, and in hydrochemical processes in glacial environments. At present his research program is structured around field studies conducted at John Evans Glacier, Ellesmere Island, and combined field and remote sensing studies of the ice caps of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Arctic Canada. Martin's group runs the Glacier Hydrochemistry Lab (walk in freezer and analytical facility) and is extremely well equipped for glaciological fieldwork (radio echo sounder, ice coring equipment, differential GPS and total station survey equipment, automatic weather stations and stream monitoring stations, digital borehole inclinometer). Recently, it created an unparalleled archive of imagery of the ice caps of the Canadian high Arctic (>10,000 aerial photographs, Landsat 7 ETM+ imagery, >200 Aster images, ERS1/2 and Radarsat SAR imagery (including interferometric coverage) and AVHrr and scatterometer imagery.

Research opportunity

The primary research focus in Martin Sharp's group is quantification and explanation of glacier changes in the Arctic and assessment of their implications for global sea level. Currently there are opportunities for student projects dealing with:

  • large ensemble modeling of the surface mass balance of Arctic ice caps
  • links between synoptic scale climate variability and the mass balance of Arctic ice caps
  • the effect of variable firn densification rates on the interpretation of altimetric measurements of ice cap elevation change
  • Surface melt and snow facies variability on Arctic ice caps from EnviSat ASAR wide swath mode data
  • Downscaling precipitation fields from climate reanalyses to Arctic ice caps using statistical and dynamical approaches
  • Iceberg calving fluxes from Baffin Island tidewater glaciers
  • Iceberg calving processes using high resolution satellite imagery

Applications are encouraged from students with backgrounds in Glaciology, Geomatics, Remote Sensing, Atmospheric Sciences, Physical Geography, and Geophysics. Most projects involve fieldwork in the Arctic as well as remote sensing and/or numerical modeling.