Ocean/Ice Boundary Layer Modeller

British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK

This is a 2-year postdoc position that will run very-high-resolution ocean models to examine turbulent boundary-layer processes that control the ocean melting of glacial ice. The post is part of a joint project with the University of Cambridge.

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing ice, causing sea-level rise. This ice loss is caused largely by changes in ocean melting of floating glacial ice shelves. It is therefore essential that we are able to understand this melting in order to determine Antarctica’s future contribution to sea-level rise. The rate at which glacial ice melts in the ocean is controlled by heat and salt transfer through a turbulent ocean boundary layer next to the ice. This project will use very-high-resolution models to test physical theories about the processes operating in this boundary layer and their effect on melting. These processes will then be parameterised for use in global climate models.


  • To model the turbulent processes governing ocean melting beneath ice shelves, and to parameterise these processes within coarser models.


  • First degree in physical science/mathematics plus PhD (or equivalent).


  • Perform very-high-resolution simulations with an ocean model, such as the MITgcm or NEMO, to understand the influence of horizontal advection on the ice/ocean boundary layer.
  • Develop an ocean column model capable of matching the results of these simulations and Large-Eddy Simulations run by collaborators.
  • Test and develop parameterisations of melting and vertical mixing.
  • Evaluate these parameterisations in a coarser sub-ice-shelf cavity model.

Informal enquiries about the post are very welcome and should be addressed to Dr. Paul Holland (p.holland@bas.ac.uk).