Research Projects

All Projects Landslides Climate Flooding & Storms Snow & Ice Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Field photograph of Kima Kho’, a Pleistocene glaciovolcano in northcentral British Columbia,
showing a passage zone defined by a dipping beds of pillow breccia (orange) overlain by flat lying thin sheets of lava (grey). The passage zone marks the transition from subaqueous to subaerial volcanic facies within an englacial lake resulting from melting of an enclosing ice sheet during volcanic eruption (K. Russell)


Field based volcanology studies focused on interactions between volcanism and ice sheets to understand glaciovolcanic processes and to reconstruct the Pleistocene Cordilleran ice-sheet through space and time. MORE


Seasonal avalanche hazard forecasting

While the effect of large-scale climate patterns on winter temperature and precipitation in Western Canada is relatively well understood, little is known regarding the link between climate and avalanche hazard. MORE.

Mt Meager 2010 landslide model (G. Roberti)

Climate change & the stability of glaciated volcanoes

During summer 2010, snow and ice melt at Mt. Meager caused the largest historical landslide in Canada. Using remote, field and numerical techniques, we are characterizing landslides and glacial activity as well as their influence on the deeper volcanic system.

Tributary glacier surging into the Donjek in 2015, St. Elias, Yukon (J. Crompton)

Glacier dynamics

When a glacier surges it can increase in velocity by orders of magnitude above it's regular velocities. Surges only happen in some mountain ranges, but why? Our work is to investigate whether or not surging glaciers (and their distribution) can be explained by the underlying quality of the geological substrate. MORE.

Storm surge, Nassau, The Bahamas (S. Holding)

Risks to Coastal Aquifers from Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise

Freshwater supplies in coastal aquifers may become contaminated by seawater due to rapid inundation from storm surge or graduate inundation due to sea level rise. Water management in coastal areas should include emergency response measures as well as long-term planning. MORE.

Mt. Meager Volcanic Complex, BC (R. Warwick)

Mt. Meager hazard map

This project involves identifying the main hazards of concern expected from an eruption at Mt. Meager and the extent of these hazards spatially and temporally. This will be one of Canadas first volcanic hazard maps, setting the stage for awareness and preparation of volcanic hazards in Canada. MORE.

2014 San Leo rock slide, central Italy (D. Donati)

Damage and rock slope stability

The evolution and deformation of rock slopes results in the formation of features (e.g., tension cracks) referred to as “damage”, the investigation of which provide insights on the mechanisms and processes underlying instability phenomena. Using an integrated remote sensing-numerical modelling approach, we aim to enhance our understanding of the factors and mechanisms that affect the formation and evolution of slope damage, and subsequently the relation between damage and slope stability. MORE.

Kaskawulsh Lake, Yukon (F. Beaud)

Glacier outburst floods

Geophysical field measurements, numerical modelling and remote sensing are being used to better understand the initiation and propagation of outburst floods from ice-dammed lakes. MORE.

Accumulation survey on unnamed glacier, Yukon (L. Mingo)

Glacier response to climate

Better ways of measuring and modelling glacier mass balance, the difference between annual snow accumulation and snow/ice melt, are being developed to improve the fidelity of future projections of glacier response to climate. MORE.