Christian Schoof


EOS-South 356
(604) 822-6482
Accepting students

I am a fluid dynamicist interested in physical processes that occur in and around glaciers and ice sheets. My long-term goal is a better understanding of how the shape and volume of these ice masses change over time, and how they interact with their wider environment. In pursuit of that goal, I've allowed myself to get involved in a fairly large number of individual topics. Among these, the large scale dynamics of ocean-terminating ice sheets, the physics of glacier sliding and subglacial hydraulics (that is, how melt water drains once it flows into and to the bottom of a glacier) have been recurring themes. I use a variety of tools, mostly drawn from applied mathematics and physics, combined with direct, in-situ observations. Most of my theoretical work involves the study of differential equations, for which I use a mixture of methods from applied analysis, scientific computing, perturbation methods and dynamical systems theory. I seem to be particularly drawn to problems involving free boundaries, which turn out to be quite common in glaciology. In the field, I have built a program that aims to observe changes in subglacial drainage structure and its effect on glacier flow, with occasional forays into the (near-) surface storage and drainage of melt water, as well as ice-atmosphere interactions, the latter two with a set of collaborators at UBC and elsewhere.

Current work in my group as of 2023 involves crevasse evolution and buckling in ice sheets and ice shelves, the evolving thermal state of ice sheets, and various aspects of subglacial hydraulics and their interaction with ice flow.

Graduate Students

  • PhD
  • PhD
  • MSc

Note that the information here is out of date, but I do not seem to have the necessary permissions to delete students who have moved on from UBC. My current group consists of

Nicolas Morales, PhD mathematics (with Neil Balmforth)

Zoe Herbermann, MSc mathematics (with Neil Balmforth)

Tyler Petillion, MSc geophysics


I don't update this page very often, as there are better ways to see complete lists of research output for most active academics (google scholar, ResearchGate etc)

48. Rada, C. and C. Schoof. 2018 Channelized, distributed, disconnected: subglacial drainage under a valley glacier in the Yukon. The Cryospere, 12, 2609–2636. pdf supplementary material

47. Haseloff, M., C. Schoof and O. Gagliardini. 2018. The role of subtemperate slip in thermally-driven ice stream margin migration. The Cryosphere, 12, 2545–2568. pdf supplementary material

46. Bach, E., V. Radic and C. Schoof. 2018. How sensitive are mountain glaciers to climate change? Insights from a block model. J. Glaciol, 247–258. doi: 10.1017/jog.2018.15 pdf;

45. Aso, N., V.C. Tsai, C. Schoof, G.E. Flowers, A. Whiteford and C. Rada. 2017. Seismologically observed spatio-temporal drainage activity at moulins. J. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 122, 9095–9108.

44. Schoof, C., A.D. Davis and T.V. Popa. 2017. Boundary layer models for calving marine outlet glaciers. The Cryosphere. 11, 2283-2303.pdf supplementary material

43. Shugar, D.H., J.J. Clague, J.L. Best, C. Schoof, M.J. Willis, L. Copland and G.H. Roe.2017. River piracy and drainage basin reorganization led by climate-driven glacier retreat. Nature Geosci., 10,370–375

42. Jessop, D., A. Hogg, M. Gilbertson and C. Schoof. 2017. Steady and unsteady fluidised granular flows on slopes. J. Fluid. Mech., 827, 67–120. 15

41. Hewitt, I. and C. Schoof. 2017. Models for polythermal ice sheets and glaciers. The Cryosphere, 11,541–551 pdf

40. Robel, A.A., C. Schoof and E. Tziperman. 2016. Persistence and variability of ice-stream grounding lines on retrograde bed slopes. The Cryosphere 10, 1883-1896, doi:10.5194/tc-10- 1883-2016. pdf

39. Schoof, C. and I.J. Hewitt. 2016. A model for temperate ice incorporating gravity-driven moisture transport. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 797, 504–535.pdf supplementary material

38. *Haseloff, M., C. Schoof and O. Gagliardini. 2015. A boundary layer model for ice stream margins. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 781, 353–387, doi:10.1017/jfm.2015.503 pdf

37. Robel, A.A., C. Schoof and E. Tziperman. 2014. Rapid grounding line migration induced by internal ice stream variability. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119(11), 2430–2447, doi:10.1002/2014JF003251 pdf supplementary material

36. *Schoof, C., C.A. Rada, N.J. Wilson, G.E. Flowers and M. Haseloff. 2014. Oscillatory subglacial drainage in the absence of surface melt. The Cryosphere, 8,959–976, doi:10.5194/tc-8- 959-2014 pdf

35. Flowers, G.E., L. Copland and C.G. Schoof. 2014. Contemporary glacier processes and global change. Arctic, 67(1), 22–34, doi:10.14430/arctic4356.

34. Goldberg, D.N., C. Schoof and O. Sergienko, 2014. Stick-slip motion of an Antarctic Ice Stream: The effects of viscoelasticity. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119(7).15641580 doi: 10.1002/2014JF003132. pdf supplementary material

33. DeGiuli, E. and C. Schoof, 2014. On the granular stress-geometry equation. Europhysics Letters, 105, 28001 doi: 10.1209/0295-5075/105/28001

32. Werder, M.A., I.J. Hewitt, C.G. Schoof and G.E. Flowers. 2013. Modeling channelized and distributed subglacial drainage in two dimensions, Journal of Geophysical Research., 118,1-19, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20146 pdf

31. Robel, A.A., E. DeGiuli, C. Schoof and E. Tziperman, 2013. Dynamics of Ice Stream Temporal Variability: Modes, Scales and Hysteresis. Journal of Geophysical Research., 118, F925936, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20072. pdf supplementary material

30. Jarosch, A.H., C.G. Schoof and F.S. Anslow. 2013. Restoring mass conservation to shallow ice flow models over complex terrain. The Cryosphere, 7, 229-240. pdf

29. Schoof, C. and I.J. Hewitt. 2013. Ice sheet dynamics. Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 45, 217–239.

28. *Schoof, C. 2012. Thermally-driven migration of ice stream shear margins. J. Fluid Mech., 712, 552-578. pdf

27.Tziperman, E., D.S. Abbott, Y. Ashkenazy, H. Gildor, D. Pollard, C. Schoof and D.P. Schrag. 2012. Continental constriction and ocean ice cover thickness in a Snowball-Earth scenario. Journal of Geophysical Research., 117, C05016,, doi:10.1029/2011JC007730 16

26. Pattyn, F., C. Schoof, L. Perichon, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, E. Bueler, B. de Fleurian, G. Durand, O. Gagliardini, R. Gladstone, D. Goldberg, G.H. Gudmundsson, V. Lee, F.M. Nick, A.J. Payne, D. Pollard, O. Rybak, F. Saito, and A. Vieli. 2012. Results of the Marine Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project, MISMIP. The Cryosphere 6, 573-588. pdf

25. Schoof, C., I.J. Hewitt and M.A. Werder. 2012. Flotation and free surface flow in a model for subglacial drainage. Part 1. Distributed drainage. J. Fluid Mech. 702, 126–156. pdf

24. Hewitt, I.J., C. Schoof and M.A. Werder. 2012. Flotation and free surface flow in a model for subglacial drainage. Part 2. Channel flow. J. Fluid Mech. 702, 157–188 pdf

23. Schoof, C. 2012. Marine Ice Sheet Stability. J. Fluid Mech., 698, 62–73 27. pdf

22. Schoof, C. 2011. Marine Ice Sheet Dynamics. Part 2: A Stokes Flow Contact Problem. J. Fluid Mech., 679, 122–155. pdf

21. Flowers, G.E., N. Roux, S. Pimentel and C.G. Schoof. 2011. Present dynamics and future prognosis of a slowly surging glacier. The Cryosphere, 5(1), 299–323

20. *Schoof, C. 2010. Ice sheet acceleration driven by melt supply variability. Nature, 468(7325), 803–806. pdf supplementary material

19. Pimentel, S., G.E. Flowers and C.G. Schoof. 2010 A hydrologically coupled higher-order flow-band model of ice dynamics with a Coulomb friction sliding law. J. Geophys. Res., 115, F04023, doi:10.1029/2009JF001621

18. Schoof, C., and R.C.A. Hindmarsh. 2010. Thin-film flows with wall slip: an asymptotic analysis of higher order glacier flow models, Quart. J. Mech. Appl. Math., 63(1), 73-114, doi:10.1093/qjmam/hbp025. pdf

17. Schoof, C. 2010. Coulomb friction and other sliding laws in a higher-order glacier flow model, Math. Models Meth. Appl. Sci. (M3AS), 20(1), 157-189. pdf

16. Creyts, T.T. and C.G. Schoof. 2009. Drainage through subglacial water sheets, J. Geophys. Res. 114(F04008), doi:10.1029/2008JF001215. pdf

15. Goldberg, D., D.M. Holland, and C. Schoof. 2009. Grounding line movement and ice shelf buttressing in marine ice sheets, J. Geophys. Res. 114(F04026), doi:10.1029/2008JF001227. pdf

14. Clarke, G.K.C., E. Berthier, C.G. Schoof and A.H. Jarosch. 2008. Neural networks applied to estimating subglacial topography and glacier volume. J. Climate. 22(8), 2146-2160.

13. Schoof, C.G. and G.K.C. Clarke. 2008. A model for spiral flows in basal ice and flute for- mation based on a Reiner-Rivlin rheology for glacial ice. J. Geophys. Res., 113(B5), B05204, doi:10.1029/2007JB004957. pdf

12. Schoof, C. 2007.Cavitation on deformable glacier beds. SIAM J. Appl. Math., 67(6), 1633– 1653. pdf

11. *Schoof, C. 2007. Ice sheet grounding line dynamics: steady states, stability and hysteresis. J. Geophys. Res., 112(F03S28), doi:10.1029/2006JF000664. 17 pdf

10. Schoof, C. 2007. Marine ice sheet dynamics. Part 1: The case of rapid sliding. J. Fluid Mech., 573, 27–55. pdf

9. Schoof, C. 2007. Pressure-dependent viscosity and interfacial instability in coupled ice- sediment flow. J. Fluid Mech., 570, 227–252. pdf

8. Schoof, C. 2006. A variational approach to ice-stream flow. J. Fluid Mech., 556, 227–251.pdf

7. Schoof, C. 2006. Variational methods for glacier flow over plastic till. J. Fluid Mech., 555, 299–320. pdf

6. Schoof, C. 2005. A note on inverting ice-stream surface data. J. Glaciol., 51(172), 181–182.

5. *Schoof, C. 2005. The effect of cavitation on glacier sliding. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A, 461, 609–627, doi:10.1098/rspa.2004.1350. pdf

4. Schoof, C. 2004. On the mechanics of ice stream shear margins. J. Glaciol., 50(169), 208–218. pdf

3. Schoof, C. 2004. Bed topography and surges in ice streams. Geophys. Res. Letts., 31(6), L06401, doi:10.1029/2003GL018807. pdf

2. Schoof, C. 2003. The effect of bed topography on ice sheet dynamics. Cont. Mech. Thermodyn., 15(3), 295–307. doi: 10.1007/s00161-003-0119-3. pdf

1. Schoof, C. 2002. Basal perturbations under ice streams: form drag and surface expression. J. Glaciol., 48(162), 407–416. ;pdf