Heather Purdie

Associate ProfessorHeather Purdie

Glaciology, Physical Geography
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 225
Internal Phone: 94131


Research Interests

My research expertise is in the field of glaciology, specifically glacier mass balance, dynamics, and climate change, with a focus on mountain glaciers in Te Tiritiri-o-te-moana, the New Zealand Southern Alps. I am very interested in glaciological change that occurs over short temporal scales; that which impacts utilization of the glacier resource, for example glacier-tourism. I also focus on interactions and feedbacks between all aspects of glacier mass balance from snow accumulation processes to ablation processes, including the role of avalanche nourishment to glacier resilience. Most recently, I have been exploring rapid change at lake-calving glaciers, and the impact that crevasses have on glacier mass balance...

Current research projects:
* The role of crevasses on surface energy balance of alpine glaciers
* Bathymetric and terminus evolution at lake calving glaciers
* Morphological evolution and feedbacks at retreating glacier termini
* Characteristics of alpine snowpacks - managing snow in a warming world
* Implications of glacier retreat on tourism and recreation

Recent Publications

  • Carrivick JL., Sutherland JL., Huss M., Purdie H., Stringer CD., Grimes M., James WHM. and Lorrey AM. (2022) Coincident evolution of glaciers and ice-marginal proglacial lakes across the Southern Alps, New Zealand: Past, present and future. Global and Planetary Change 211 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2022.103792.
  • Gomez-Fell R., Rack W., Purdie H. and Marsh O. (2022) Parker Ice Tongue Collapse, Antarctica, Triggered by Loss of Stabilizing Land-Fast Sea Ice. Geophysical Research Letters 49(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2021GL096156.
  • Lorrey AM., Vargo L., Purdie H., Anderson B., Cullen NJ., Sirguey P., MacKintosh A., Willsman A., MacAra G. and Chinn W. (2022) Southern Alps equilibrium line altitudes: Four decades of observations show coherent glacier-climate responses and a rising snowline trend. Journal of Glaciology 68(272): 1127-1140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jog.2022.27.
  • Baumann S., Anderson B., Chinn T., MacKintosh A., Collier C., Lorrey AM., Rack W., Purdie H. and Eaves S. (2021) Updated inventory of glacier ice in New Zealand based on 2016 satellite imagery. Journal of Glaciology 67(261): 13-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jog.2020.78.
  • Porhemmat R., Purdie H., Zawar-Reza P., Zammit C. and Kerr T. (2021) Moisture Transport during Large Snowfall Events in the New Zealand Southern Alps: The Role of Atmospheric Rivers. Journal of Hydrometeorology 22(2): 425-444. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/jhm-d-20-0044.1.