The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Arminel Lovell

Controls on glacier change in the Annapurna-Manaslu region of Nepal

Supervisors: Dr. Rachel Carr (Newcastle University), Prof. Chris Stokes (Durham University), Dr. Ann Rowan (Sheffield University)

Description of Research Project

Despite overall trends in the central Himalayas, there are large variations in the response of individual glaciers to regional climate change, which is not properly understood. This is a major limitation to our understanding, as many field studies are limited to a single glacier, or at most a few glaciers, making it very difficult to identify key controls at broader spatial scales.

This project aims to unravel the important controls on glacier change in the Annapurna-Manaslu region of Nepal at a range of spatial scales by integrating field observations and remote sensing. As well as investigating controls associated with climate change and glacier setting, the project will assess the impact of surface rock debris on glacier mass balance. The distribution and thickness of surface debris is a possible cause of the high variability in ice loss between neighbouring glaciers, as thin layers of debris can increase melt rates by darkening the ice, whereas thick debris insulates the underlying ice and dramatically reduces melting.

Research questions:

  • How does multi-decadal behaviour vary between individual glaciers, within catchments and between study regions?
  • What are the primary non-climatic controls on the response of individual glaciers to climate change in the Annapurna-Manaslu region (eg debris cover and aspect)?
  • How has debris cover and its impact on glacier behaviour evolved during the study period?

This PhD is part of the NERC-funded IAPETUS Doctoral Training Partnership.

Demonstrating

  • GEO2226 Glacial Environments
  • GEO2106 Earth Surface Processes
  • GEO3136 Applied Geomorphology
  • GEO3128 Polar Environments

Qualifications

  • 2014-2015: MSc by Research "The drivers of inter-annual outlet glacier terminus change in Victoria Land, Oates Land and George V Land, East Antarctica", Durham University.
  • 2010-2014: BSc (International) Physical Geography, University of Leeds.

Funding and grants

  • Mount Everest Foundation grant for 2017 fieldwork as a member of the Annapurna South Glacier expedition team (group application led by Rachel Carr) (£650)
  • QRA New Research Workers’ Award for 2017 fieldwork (£900)
  • European Space Agency grant for SPOT and Pleiades satellite imagery (Newcastle University: 2016-2017) (equivalent to €20 000)
  • Van Mildert College Postgraduate Bursary Award (Durham University: 2014-2015) (£1000)

Publications

  • Lovell, A.M., Stokes, C.R., Jamieson, S.S.R. (2017) Sub-decadal variations in outlet glacier terminus positions in Victoria Land, Oates Land and George V Land, East Antarctica (1972-2013), Antarctic Science, doi:10.1017/S0954102017000074.
  • Bickerdike, H.L. and Lovell, A.M. (2016) QRA field meeting report: The Quaternary of the Isle of Skye 20th – 23rd May 2016, Quaternary Newsletter, September 2016, 140, Quaternary Research Association.
  • Lovell, A.M. (2016) GLWG 16 and QRA Joint field meeting report: Gower Peninsula, southwest Wales 22nd – 25th October 2015, Quaternary Newsletter, February 2016, 138, Quaternary Research Association.

Presentations

  • Lovell. A.M., Carr. J.R. and Stokes, C.R. (2017) Controls on the surge-type behaviour of Sabche Glacier, Nepal (1967 to 2017), International Glaciological Society-British Branch Conference, Lancaster (oral presentation).
  • Lovell. A.M., Carr. J.R. and Stokes, C.R. (2017) Remotely-sensed and field-based observations of glacier change in the Annapurna-Manaslu region, Nepal, EGU Conference, Vienna (poster).
  • Lovell, A.M. (2017) The influence of supraglacial debris on melt rates on Annapurna South Glacier, Nepal, Physical Geography Research Seminar, Newcastle University (oral presentation).
  • Lovell, A.M., Carr, J.R., Stokes, C.R. and Rowan, A. (2016) Glacier velocity and area changes in the Annapurna and Manaslu regions of Nepal, 1988-2015, International Glaciological Society-British Branch Conference, Southampton (poster).
  • Lovell, A.M., Stokes, C.R. and Jamieson, S.S.R. (2015) Drivers of inter-annual outlet glacier terminus change in Victoria Land, Oates Land and George V Land, East Antarctica, International Glaciological Society-British Branch Conference, Durham (poster).

Teaching

  • GEO1019 Blencathra Fieldtrip
  • GEO2137 Key Methods in Physical Geography
  • GEO2226 Glacial Environments
  • GEO2106 Earth Surface Processes
  • GEO3136 Applied Geomorphology
  • GEO3128 Polar Environments

Links to other personal web profiles

http://www.iapetus.ac.uk/students/2015-2016-cohort/arminel-lovell/
Twitter: @annapurna_glac
Facebook: @annapurnaglaciers