Professor Peter Clarke
Professor of Geophysical Geodesy


Peter Clarke works at the interface of geodesy and geophysics, using precise GPS positioning to study the deformation of the Earth due to plate tectonics, tides, and surface mass loading. His interests span the applications of these areas to geohazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and climate change (changes in the global hydrological cycle, ice sheet mass, and atmospheric water vapour).

Roles and Responsibilities

Member of University Senate, 2012-2015.
School Unix/Linux systems academic coordinator.


B.A. (Hons.), Natural Sciences (Geological Sciences), Queens' College, Cambridge University, 1992 (M.A., 1995).
D.Phil., Earth Sciences, Exeter College, Oxford University, 1997.
Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Newcastle University, 1999.

Previous Positions

Reader in Geophysical Geodesy, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, 2004-2007.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research and Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, 2003 (sabbatical).
Lecturer, Department of Geomatics / School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, 1998-2004.
Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford University, 1997-1998.
Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Oxford University, 1996-1998.
Post-Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Oxford University, 1992-1993.


Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society (2002-).
Fellow, Higher Education Academy (formerly ILTHE, 2001-).
Board of Editors, Journal of Geodesy (2007-).
UK panel for International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2011-).
Committee member, British Geophysical Association (2009-, Treasurer 2011-).
NERC Peer Review College (2008-)
Member, Americal Geophysical Union (1998-).
Associate Member, International GNSS Service (1999-).
Associate, UNAVCO Inc (2009-).


English: fluent.
American: fluent.
Geordie: conversational.
French: basic conversational.
German: very basic.
Greek: very basic.

Informal Interests

Mountaineering, running, orienteering, cycling, skiing, travel, family.

Research Interests

Global and regional GPS geodesy; hydrological loading; ocean tide loading; precise GPS positioning; Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry (InSAR); engineering deformation monitoring; crustal deformation; tectonics (especially Greece and Italy); earthquake cycle; post-seismic deformation; geophysical inverse theory.

Current Work

Using global geodesy to observe the seasonal water cycle and climate change.
Precise GPS geodesy to constrain models of glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica.
GPS observations of tsunami height in Sumatra.
Calibration/validation of the GRACE gravity satellite.
Ocean tide loading in the UK and worldwide.
Precise GPS positioning for oilfield subsidence monitoring.
Tectonics in Greece and Italy.
Geodetic observations of the earthquake cycle and associated geophysical inverse theory.

Postgraduate Supervision

Sam Webb (Stage 3 PhD): Ocean tide loading and atmospheric errors in GNSS [co-supervisor]
Grace Nield (Stage 2 PhD):  Elastic loading and glacio-isostatic adjustment in the Antarctic Peninsula [co-supervisor]
Ciprian Spatar (Stage 2 PhD):  Measuring the centre of mass of the Earth [co-supervisor]
Reza Amouzgar (Stage 2 PhD):  Adaptive grid based integrated model for tsunami simulations [co-supervisor]
Philippa Cowles (Stage 1 PhD):  Rapid and accurate GPS-based tsunami warning

Mohammed Assiadi (PhD 2012): Enhancement of the accuracy of single epoch positioning for long baselines with application to structure deformation monitoring [co-supervisor]
David Booker (PhD 2012): Secular changes in Earth's shape and surface mass loading
Ian Thomas (PhD 2008): GPS estimates of sub-daily to decadal changes in Antarctic water vapour, 1995-2006
Ahmed Ragheb (PhD 2008): Filtered and semi-continuous single epoch GPS for deformation monitoring
Sofia Rontogianni (PhD 2007): Strain rates in Greece using GPS measurements from 1994-2000
Anna Freemantle (PhD 2006): Present-day Adriatic tectonics: rigorous tests using continuous GPS
Craig Allinson (PhD 2005): Ocean tide loading in the British Isles from GPS observations
Stuart Edwards (PhD 2005): GPS Calibration and Validation of Altimetric Satellite Radiometers
Jamal Gledan (PhD 2004): Development of low cost GPS strategies for deformation monitoring [co-supervisor]
Simon Edwards (PhD 2003): Calibration of tropospheric artefacts in SAR interferometry using GPS observations
Ravi Gunasingam (MPhil 2003): Single-epoch ambiguity resolution using low-cost GPS receivers
Julian Rainbow (MPhil 2001): Optimising navigational precision utilising potential GNSS constellations

Esteem Indicators

UK delegate to International Association for Geodesy (2011-).
UK panel for International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2011-).

NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility Steering Committee, 2005-present (Chair 2010-present).
NERC/ESRC Interdisciplinary Studentships peer review panel, 2010.
NERC Networks of Sensors moderating panel, 2010.
NERC New Investigators moderating panel, 2011.
NERC Peer Review College, 2008-present.
NERC Space Geodesy Steering Committee, 2004-2007.
NERC Services Review Board member, 2004.
NASA Inter-Disciplinary Science sea-level funding review panel member, 2003.

Board of Editors, Journal of Geodesy, 2007-present.

Invited speaker (x2), American Geophysical Union Fall conference, San Francisco, 2003.
Invited speaker, IERS workshop, Munich, 2002.
Invited keynote speaker, IGCP565 3rd workshop, Reno, 2010.


UK Natural Environment Research Council:
Global geodetic investigation of widespread intraplate deformation (PI, 1999-2002).
Elastic and Inelastic Ocean Tide Loading Response in the British Isles from Long-term GPS Observations (PI, 2001-2004).
Solid Earth deformation and changes in mass transport of the hydrosphere (PI, 2002-2005).
Validation of GRACE gravity field determination using GPS (PI, 2003-2004).
Changes in Glacier Geometry and Extent in Svalbard: implications for Sea-level Rise During the 20th and 21st Centuries (Co-I, 2004-2007).
Global Loading and Deformation at Tidal Timescales (PI, 2006-2009).
Tidal Dynamics of the Filchner-Ronne and Larsen C Ice Shelves from GPs Observations and Model Assimilation (PI, 2007-2010).
The determination of a new global GPS-derived surface velocity field and its application to the problem of 20th century sea-level rise (Co-I, 2007-2011).
Improved constraints on global-scale hydrological change by determining secular geocenter motion and low degrees of the surface mass load (PI, 2008-2013).
Consistent multi-technique geodetic estimates of contributions to present-day sea level change (PI, 2008-2011).
Improved models of West Antarctic glacial isostatic adjustment through new crustal motion data (Co-I, 2009-2014).

UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council:
Correction of tropospheric artefacts in SAR interferograms using GPS observations (PI, 1999-2002).
Synergy of GPS, digital photogrammetry and InSAR for coastal zone monitoring (Co-I, 2000-2003).
Auto - bahn: Towards Millimetre Accurate Real - Time Positioning From GNSS (Co-I, 2005-2007).

Other academic or related bodies:
GPS subsidence monitoring at Houghton-le-Spring (British Geological Survey; PI, 2001-2002).
An assessment of ocean tide loading models for precise GPS positioning in Great Britain (RICS Education Trust; Co-I, 2005)

Industrial research and consultancy:
Continuous monitoring of North Sea oil platform movement using GPS (Shell UK; Co-I, 1998-2002; PI, 2003-2010).
Subsidence monitoring at Wytch Farm oil field, Dorset (BP; Co-I, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010).
Review and validation of improvements to GPS subsidence monitoring at Ekofisk field, southern North Sea (Phillips Petroleum; PI, 2002-2003).
Permanent GPS Monitoring of Shah Deniz Platform, Caspian Sea (Fugro Survey / BP; Co-I, 2005-2012).

Industrial Relevance

Precise positioning and navigation.
Oilfield and oil platform monitoring.
Engineering and natural hazard deformation monitoring.

Undergraduate Teaching

CEG1705 "An introduction to GNSS and its applications" (module leader).
CEG1711 "Tutorial study skills for geomatics".
CEG2715 "Advanced study skills".
CEG3702 "Advanced survey fieldcourse".
CEG3707 "Geohazards and deformation monitoring" (module leader).
CEG3710 "Offshore surveying".
CEG3799 "Individual research project".
GEO3074 "Physical geography dissertation".