Douglas R. MacAyeal
Riding across Iowa in the 2009 RAGBRAI bicycle tour. I ride a Rans Recumbant for comfort and 'attitude'.
On a recent trip to the Beas River of Himachal Pradesh, India (can you guess what kind of plant grows by the side of the road)...
With daughters Leigh (left) and Hannah at Leigh's recent graduation from Brown University.
With my dad (left) and son, Evan (right).
Mac Cathles and I dressed for the recent Krumbein Lecture and Dinner...
A Maori moko I commissioned for my sailboat.
Me back in 1976 when I worked on the Ross Ice Shelf...
Yep, it's bottomless...
I study the behavior of ice in the natural environment of Earth (and sometimes Mars) with the intention of developing a better understanding of the role of ice in being both a producer of and a responder to climate change. I use the tools of fluid dynamics, seismology, remote sensing and computational methods to study the behavior of the large ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, and would characterize my style of research as being a mixture of field observation and theory.
My current work is spread across a series of diverse, but important, research topics, ranging from glaciogenic seismicity (as a means of understanding ice-sheet change) to ice-shelf/ocean interaction (with a focus on ice-shelf collapse dynamics). While my research group has always been small here at the University of Chicago, I believe that we have contributed in a substantial fashion to the larger effort of understanding the place of ice-sheets and glaciers in the realm of Earth's environment.
For further description of what my research group does, see the information on the departmental website at this location (follow the links first to Atmosphere, Oceans, Climate and Ice, and then to Glaciology):
- PhD, 1983, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Program, Princeton University
- MS, 1979, Institute for Quaternary Studies and Department of Physics, University of Maine at Orono
- ScB, 1976, Brown University (Physics)
My interest in ancient climates and ice-sheets began as a senior physics student at Brown University, where I met Tom Webb and John Imbrie and learned that Earth's complex climate system was something that could be investigated in a purposeful way. After graduating, I moved to the University of Maine (Institute for Quaternary studies) and began my career as a glaciologist by spending the 1976/77 field season in Antarctica helping Bob Thomas (now at Wallops Flight Center, NASA) conduct the Ross Ice Shelf Glaciological and Geophysical Survey (RIGGS). After taking a MS degree at University of Maine with Bob and another mentor, Terry Hughes, I went on to study computational fluid dynamics of polar oceans and ice shelves at the GFD program of Princeton University, with Kirk Bryan as my main advisor. There, I developed a respect for finite-element modeling methods as a means of understanding the intricacies of glaciological flow dynamics, and went on, after my PhD in 1983 to University of Chicago, where I have been on the faculty ever since. My wonderful colleagues at the University of Chicago, and especially Victor Barcilon and the late George Platzman, continue to inspire and educate me. Now, I consider the group of students, postdoctoral scholars and fellow faculty among my best teachers. I also greatly value my colleagues who work elsewhere, especially Emile Okal, Rick Aster, Jeremy Bassis, Jason Amundson and about 3 dozen others (you know who you are) whose collective brilliance and generosity have enriched my life.
Research I'd like to do
Here are a few of my recent research proposals. They provide a snapshot of what I'm considering doing over the coming months to years.
- Catastrophic ice-shelf collapse as a problem in "mosh-pit dynamics" [pdf]
- Sea-swell in ice-shelf environments as a factor in iceberg calving [pdf]
- Ice-sheet surface optics, surface melting and melt-pond to bed drainage [pdf]
Select Publications (115 total)
(see CV above for full list)
- MacAyeal, D. R. and O. V. Sergienko, 2013. The flexural dynamics of melting ice shelves, Annals of Glaciology, 54(63), 1 - 10. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., J. Freed-Brown, W. W. Zhang and J. M. Amundson, 2012. The influence of ice melange on fjord seiches, Annals of Glaciology, 53(60), 45-49. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., D. S. Abbot and O. V. Sergienko, 2011. Iceberg-capsize tsunamigenesis, Annals of Glaciology, 52(58), 51-56. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., E. A. Okal, R. C. Aster and J. N. Bassis, 2009. Seismic Observations of Glaciogenic Ocean Waves (Micro-Tsunamis) on Icebergs and Ice Shelves. Journal of Glaciology, 55(190), 193-206. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., E. A. Okal, R. C. Aster and J. N. Bassis, 2008. Seismic and hydroacoustic tremor generated by colliding icebergs. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F03011, doi: 10.1029/2008JF001005. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., M. H. Okal, J. E. Thom, K. M. Brunt, Y.-J. Kim and A. K. Bliss, 2008. Tabular iceberg collisions within the coastal regime. Journal of Glaciology, 54(118), 371-386. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., E. A. Okal, R. C. Aster, et al., 2006. Transoceanic wave propagation links iceberg calving margins of Antarctica with storms in tropics and Northern Hemisphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 33(17): L17502. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., T. A. Scambos, C. L. Hulbe, et al., 2003. Catastrophic ice-shelf break-up by an ice-shelf-fragment-capsize mechanism. Journal of Glaciology, 49(164), 22-36. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1993. A tutorial on the use of control methods in ice sheet modeling. J. Glaciol., 39(131), 91-98. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1993. Binge/Purge oscillations of the Laurentide Ice Sheet as a cause of the North Atlantic's Heinrich Eents. Paleoceanography, 8, 775-784. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1992. The basal stress distribution of ice stream E, Antarctica, inferred by control methods. Journal of Geophysical Research, 97(B1), 595-603. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1992. Irregular oscillations of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Nature, 359, 29-32. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1989. Large-scale ice flow over a viscous basal sediment: Theory and application to ice stream B, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research, 94(B4), 4071-4088. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1983. Preventing a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Civil Engineering on a continental scale. Annals of Glaciology, 4, 302. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1984. Numerical simulations of the Ross Sea Tides. Journal of Geophysical Research, 89(C1), 607-615. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1985. Tidal rectification below the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. In Oceanology of the Antarctic Continental Shelves. S. Jacobs, ed., Antarctic Research Series, 43, 133-144, AGU, Washington, DC. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1985. Evolution of tidally triggered meltwater plumes below ice shelves. In Oceanology of the Antarctic Continental Shelves. S. Jacobs, ed., Antarctic Research Series, 43, 109-132,AGU, Washington, DC. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1984. Thermohaline circulation below the Ross Ice Shelf: a consequence of tidally induced vertical mixing and basal melting. Journal of Geophysical Research, 89(C1), 597-606. [pdf]
- MacAyeal, D. R., 1979. A catastrophe model of the paleoclimate. Journal of Glaciology, 24(90), 245-257. [pdf]
Lecture notes, books and casual reading
- Lessons in Ice Sheet Modeling, by D. R. MacAyeal. [pdf]
- Finding Connections Between Data and Theory: Applications in Geophysical Sciences, by D. R. MacAyeal and V. Barcilon. [pdf]
- Portrait of the Glaciologist as a Young Dynamicist, by J. Joyce (with help of D. R. MacAyeal). [pdf]
- The Enchantments of Manali, by S. Rushdown (with help of D. R. MacAyeal). [pdf]
- La Berg Ancien. by H. S. MacAyeal and D. R. MacAyeal. [pdf]
If you are a member of the University of Chicago community, you can access my class notes and websites on chalk. A CnetID and password are required to access this information.
- Dynamic Environment, Part I: Emergence of Humankind
- Dynamic Environment, Part II: Settlement Systems
- Introduction to Seismology
- Physical Oceanography
- Ice Age Earth
- Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast
- Introductory Glaciology
Department of Geophysical Sciences
5734 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
Hinds Geophysical Laboratory
5807 S. Dorchester Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
My old website