School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Staff Profile

Professor Peter Clarke

Professor of Geophysical Geodesy & Deputy Head of School



Peter Clarke works at the interface of geodesy and geophysics, using precise GPS/GNSS 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).

See also my Google Scholar profile, and open-access publications in the Newcastle University Library repository.

Roles and Responsibilities

Geomatics group leader, 2014-present.
Deputy Head of School 2016-present.
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 (2007-2015).
UK panel for International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2011-).
British Geophysical Association (committee member 2009-2015, Treasurer 2011-2015).
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/GNSS geodesy; hydrological loading; ocean tide loading; Glacial Isostatic Adjustment; sea level change; precise GPS/GNSS positioning; reference frames; tropospheric water vapour; GPS/GNSS meteorology; Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry (InSAR); engineering deformation monitoring; crustal deformation; tectonics (especially Greece and Italy); earthquake cycle; post-seismic deformation; geophysical inverse theory.

See my Google Scholar profile.

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 and forecasting of tsunami height.
Global geodetic reference frames.
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, Italy and south-east Asia.
Geodetic observations of the earthquake cycle and associated geophysical inverse theory.

Postgraduate Supervision

Reza Amouzgar (submitted PhD):  Adaptive grid based integrated model for tsunami simulations [co-supervisor]
Philippa Cowles (Stage 4 PhD):  Rapid and accurate GNSS-based tsunami warning
Jiajun Chen (Stage 3 PhD):  Integration of InSAR and GNSS data for tectonic and earthquake deformation monitoring [co-supervisor]
Yasir Al-Husseinawi (Stage 2 PhD):  Integration of InSAR, GNSS and terrestrial data for dam deformation monitoring [co-supervisor]
Majid Abbaszadeh (Stage 1 PhD):  Ocean tide loading and anelasticity of the Earth
Katarina Vardic (Stage 1 PhD):  Global surface mass  loading and the reference frame 
Junjie Wang (visiting PhD):  Kinematics GNSS and ocean tide loading

Ciprian Spatar (PhD 2016):  
Sam Webb (PhD 2015):  Kinematic GNSS tropospheric estimation and mitigation over a range of altitudes
Grace Nield (PhD 2014):  The effect of Late Holocene ice mass changes on glacial isostatic adjustment in West Antararctica
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-present).
UK panel for International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (2011-present).

NERC Earth Sector Services and Facilities Advisory Group (2014-present).
NERC Peer Review College, 2008-present (Interdisciplinary Studentships peer review panel, 2010; Networks of Sensors moderating panel, 2011; New Investigators panel, 2011; Large Grants panel, 2013; Standard Grants panels, 2014, 2015).
NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility Steering Committee, 2005-2014 (Chair 2010-2014).
NERC Space Geodesy Steering Committee, 2004-2007.
NERC Services Review Board member, 2004.
NASA Inter-Disciplinary Science sea-level funding review panel member, 2003.
European Science Foundation review college (2008-present).

TSB Satellite Applications Catapult NE Centre of Excellence steering committee (2014-present).

Board of Editors, Journal of Geodesy, 2007-2015.

British Geophysical Association committee (2009-2015; Treasurer 2011-2015).

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.
Invited speaker, WEGENER 17th General Assembly, Leeds, 2014.
Invites speaker, IUGG General Assembly, Prague, 2015.


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/PI, 2009-2015).
Resolving Antarctic ice mass TrEndS [RATES] (Co-I/PI, 2012-2015).
iSTAR-D:  The contribution to sea level from the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica (Co-I/PI, 2013-2017).
Reducing the uncertainty in estimates of the sea level contribution from the westernmost part of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet [Undercoats] (PI, 2014-2020).

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).
Institutional Award equipment funding (PI, 2013).

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).
Tropospheric effects on GNSS positioning for airborne applications (RICS Education Trust; Joint PI, 2011).
Mitigation of GNSS multipath by the use of dual-polarisation observations (RICS Education Trust; Joint PI, 2013-2014).
Regional glacial isostatic adjustment and CryoSat elevation rate corrections in Antarctica [REGINA] (European Space Agency; PI, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015).

Industrial research and consultancy:
Continuous monitoring of North Sea oil platform movement using GPS (Shell UK; Co-I, 1998-2002; PI, 2003-2015).
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, 2005-2014).

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".
CEG2720 "Geomatics practice and research" (module leader).
CEG2722 "Informatics 2".
CEG3707 "Geohazards and deformation monitoring" (module leader).
CEG3710 "Offshore surveying".
CEG3799 "Individual research project".