Dr. Catania's research involves understanding ice sheet and glacier changes both from natural variability and climate forced variability. This involves improving the observational data sets that quantify cyrosphere change but also focusing on improved understanding of the dynamical processes that control ice flow. In particular, her research focuses on basal processes, the flow of water on top of, through and beneath ice and understanding the history of ice motion so that modern ice sheet changes can be put into context.

The main research tools used by Catania's research group include ice-penetrating radar to image internal layers in the ice and quantify the properties of the basal interface; simple kinematic models to interpret internal layer stratigraphy; GPS to measure changes in ice motion; borehole observations to directly sense the englacial and subglacial environment; remote sensing of ice sheet changes and physical models to reproduce ice dynamical processes in the laboratory.

Areas of Expertise

Ice sheet mass balance, ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, ice sheet stratigraphy, radar, GPS methods, uncertainty in ice sheet response to climate.


Research Locations



Current Research Programs & Projects

In-situ measurement of Greenland subglacial hydrology ( view )Analogue models of ice dynamics ( view )Radiostratigraphy of the Greenland Ice Sheet ( view )Ice-ocean interactions in Greenland ( view )

I am always looking for enthusiastic students who have specific research interests in understanding glacier-water interactions and improving our knowledge of ice dynamics. I am particularly interested in students who have experience with remote sensing programs (ENVI, Arc) and programming experience in Matlab. I am also open to co-advising students interested in climate-glacier interactions, paleo-climate in glaciated regions, uncertainty quantification, and hydrology in glacier regions.


Graduate Students

Lauren C Andrews, Ph.D., expected 2014

Elizabeth S Curry-Logan, Ph.D., expected 2014