Douglas R. MacAyealProfessor, Emeritus

Research Focus:
Glaciology, cryospheric science, ice and climate
(224) 500-7775
Hinds 422

Research Interests

I recently became an emeritus professor after serving on the faculty of this department for over 40 years. I plan to remain active in research, advising students and occasional teaching despite my retirement. My plan is to focus on the "fun stuff" that made me want to be a scientist and teacher in the first place.

Currently, my research focusses on the stability of floating ice shelves and their response to climate change. I have just completed a field project on the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica, which examines the flexural behavior (and possible fracture) of ice shelves when surface lakes fill with heavy meltwater. I anticipate a field project to begin in the 2025/6 field season to study compressive ice shelf (rumpled) boundary conditions on the Ross Ice Shelf. I currently collaborate with Prof. Sunny Park and Graduate student Freya Chen on a project to use microseism to study sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Freya recently collected seismological field data on the Milne Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian high Arctic. I will be helping her and Sunny to interpret the data.

I also work with Peter Nekrasov, a graduate student in Computational and Applied Mathematics, with his advisor Prof. Mary Silber, on problems involving the propagation of flexural-gravity waves in ice-covered oceans. We have recently published a paper on "band gaps" in Arctic Ice Shelves (see citation below).

I am also looking forward to working within the context of the new Climate Systems Engineering Initiative (CSEi) directed by Prof. David Keith. Glacial geoengineering will be part of this initiative, and I intend to contribute to it.

I also look forward to future collaboration and collegiality with incoming professor Meghana Ranganathan. She will be the leader of the Department's "Glaciology Lab" and I will be a proud member.

Selected Publications

  • Nekrasov, Peter, and Douglas R. MacAyeal. “Ocean Wave Blocking by Periodic Surface Rolls Fortifies Arctic Ice Shelves.” Journal of Glaciology, 2023, 1–11.
  • Taylor, Aster G., Darryl Z. Seligman, Douglas R. MacAyeal, Oliver R. Hainaut, and Karen J. Meech. "Numerical Simulatioins of Tidal Deformation and Resulting Light Curves of Small Bodies: Material Constraints of 99942 Apophis and 1I/'Oumuamua." The Planetary Science Journal 4:79, 18pp, 2023. doi:10.3847/PSJ/acccef
  • Coffey, Niall B., Douglas R. MacAyeal, Luke Copland, Derek R. Mueller, Olga V. Sergienko, Alison F. Banwell, and Ching-Yao Lai. “Enigmatic Surface Rolls of the Ellesmere Ice Shelf.” Journal of Glaciology 68, no. 271 (2022): 867–78.
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R., Olga V. Sergienko, Alison F. Banwell, Grant J. Macdonald, Ian C. Willis, and Laura A. Stevens. “Treatment of Ice-Shelf Evolution Combining Flow and Flexure.” Journal of Glaciology 67, no. 265 (2021): 885–902.
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R. “Revisiting Weertman’s Tombstone Bed.” Annals of Glaciology 60, no. 80 (2019): 21–29.
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R., Alison F. Banwell, Emile A. Okal, Jinqiao Lin, Ian C. Willis, Becky Goodsell, and Grant J. MacDonald. “Diurnal Seismicity Cycle Linked to Subsurface Melting on an Ice Shelf.” Annals of Glaciology 60, no. 79 (2019): 137–57.
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R., (2018). Seismology gets under the skin of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Geophysical Research letters, 45(20), 11,173-11,176 (doi: 10.1029/2018GL080366)
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R., Olga V. Sergienko, and Alison F. Banwell. “A Model of Viscoelastic Ice-Shelf Flexure.” Journal of Glaciology 61, no. 228 (2015): 635–45.
  • MacAyeal, Douglas R., Yitan Wang, and Emile A. Okal. "Ambient seismic, hydroacoustic, and flexural gravity wave noise on a tabular iceberg." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120.2 (2015): 200-211.
  • Banwell, Alison F., Martamaria Caballero, Neil S. Arnold, Neil F. Glasser, L. Mac Cathles, and Douglas R. MacAyeal. “Supraglacial Lakes on the Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and at Paakitsoq, West Greenland: A Comparative Study.” Annals of Glaciology 55, no. 66 (2014): 1–8.