Skip to main content
Overview

Professor Colm O'Cofaigh

Professor


Affiliations
AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor of Department of Geography404+44 (0) 191 33 41890
Professor of Sea Level, Ice and Climate404+44 (0) 191 33 41890

Biography

I am a glacial geologist and Quaternary scientist, interested in glacial and glacially-influenced sedimentation and the reconstruction of ice sheets.

My research has evolved from an initial focus on terrestrial investigations of glacial sediments and landforms, to the use of marine geology and geophysics to reconstruct ice sheet behaviour and sedimentation. I have a particular research interest in ice sheet reconstruction and the processes and patterns of glacimarine sedimentation on polar continental margins and have worked widely in the Arctic (Greenland, Arctic Canada, Svalbard, Norwegian-Greenland Sea) and Antarctica on these topics. I also have a long-standing active research interest in the history of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet.

The underlying theme of my research is ice-sheet reconstruction from geological and geophysical evidence, and the use of modern glacial analogues to better understand the geological record.

I have been awarded the Lewis Penny Medal by the Quaternary Research Association (2005) and the Lyell Fund (2009) by the Geological Society of London in recognition of my research.

Some of my current research projects are listed below.

Full Publication list and Citation Information

Research groups

Research Projects

  • BRITICE‐CHRONO: Constraining Rates and Style of Marine‐Influenced Ice Sheet Decay
  • Glaciated North Atlantic Margins (GLANAM)
  • Greenland in a Warmer Climate: What Controls the Advance & Retreat of the NE Greenland Ice Stream? (NEGIS)
  • Identification and characterisation of ice stream sticky spots: an improved understanding of ice stream basal mechanics and shut-down
  • Marine Geophysical and Geological Investigations of Late Quaternary Ice Sheet History and Sedimentation on the Greenland Continental Margin
  • Understanding Marine Ice Stream Retreat Using Numerical Modelling and Geophysical Data

Awarded Grants

  • 2016: Greenland in a warmer climate: What controls the advance & retreat of the NE Greenland Ice Stream(£527622.50 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2013: FP7-GLANAM (Glaciated North Atlantic Margins)(£892776.51 from European Commission)
  • 2012: BRITICE-CHRONO: Constraining Rates and Style of marine influenced ice sheet decay (£369,925 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2010: Understanding marine ice stream retreat using numerical modelling and geophysical data(£322257.41 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2008: INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGICAL CONFERENCE OSLO 2008(£1066.00 from The Royal Society)
  • 2007: Marine geophysical and geological investigations o(£252205.05 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2004: INVESTIGATING PHYSICAL PROCESSES(£161904.18 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)

Publications

Chapter in book

  • ÓCofaigh, C. (Published). Glacimarine Sediments and Ice-Rafted Debris. In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. Slias, S. Elsevier. 932-945.
  • Ó Cofaigh, C. & Bentley, M.J. (2007). Late Quaternary Relative Sea Level Changes in High-Latitudes. In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. Elias S. Elsevier. 3052-3064.
  • Ó Cofaigh, C. (2004). Tunnel Valleys. In Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. Goudie, A. S. London: Routledge. 1074-1075.
  • Ó Cofaigh, C., Evans, D. J. A. & England, J. (2003). Ice-marginal terrestrial landsystems: sub-polar glacier margins of the Canadian and Greenland high arctic. In Glacial Landsystems. Evans, D. J. A. Hodder Arnold. 44-64.
  • Taylor, J., Dowdeswell, J. A., Kenyon, N. H. & Ó Cofaigh, C. (2002). Late Quaternary architecture of trough-mouth fans: debris flows and suspended sediments on the Norwegian margin. In Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins. Dowdenswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. London: The Geological Society. Special Publications 203: 55-71.
  • Talling, P. J., Peakall, J., Sparks, R. S. J., Ó Cofaigh, C., Dowdeswell, J. A., Felix, M., Wynn, R. B., Baas, J. H., Hogg, A. J., Masson, D. G., Taylor, J. & Weaver, P. P. E. (2002). Experimental constraints on shear mixing rates and processes: implications for the dilution of submarine debris flows. In Glacier-Influenced Sedimentation on High-Latitude Continental Margins. Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. Geological Society, London. Special Publication 203: 89-103.
  • Dowdeswell, J. A., Ó Cofaigh, C., Taylor, J., Kenyon, N. H., Mienert, J. & Wilken, M. (2002). On the architecture of high-latitude continental margins: the influence of ice-sheet and sea-ice proceses in the Polar North Atlantic. In Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins. Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. London: The Geological Society. Special Publication 203: 33-54.
  • Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. (2002). Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins: introduction and overview. In Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins. Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. London: Geological Society. Special Publications 203: 1-9.
  • Ó Cofaigh, C., Taylor, J., Dowdeswell, J. A., Rosell-Mele, A., Kenyon, N. H., Evans, J. & Mienert, J. (2002). Sediment reworking on high-latitude continental margins and its implications for palaeoceanographic studies: insights from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. In Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins. Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. London: The Geological Society. Special Publications 203: 325-348.

Edited book

  • Dowdeswell, J. A. & Ó Cofaigh, C. (2002). Glacier-influenced sedimentation on high-latitude continental margins. Special Publication. The Geological Society.

Journal Article

Supervision students