Jones, R.S., Johnson, J.S., Lin, Y., Mackintosh, A.N., Sefton, J.P., Smith, J.A., Thomas, E.R. and Whitehouse, P.L. (2022). Stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet during the pre-industrial Holocene. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. doi:10.1038/s43017-022-00309-5.

This review paper assessed multiple lines of evidence to reveal that the Antarctic Ice Sheet underwent periods of ice volume loss and gain in the Holocene that affected global sea levels. Ice loss was likely caused by oceanic warming, sea-level rise, retrograde bed topography and atmospheric changes, and ice gain was possibly caused by glacial isostatic adjustment and/or climate variability.


Stutz, J., Mackintosh, A., Norton, K., Whitmore, R., Baroni, C., Jamieson, S.S.R, Jones, R.S., et al. (2021). Mid-Holocene Thinning of David Glacier, Antarctica: Chronology and Controls. The Cryosphere. doi:10.5194/tc-15-5447-2021.

Mas e Braga, M., Jones, R.S., Newall, J.C.H., Rogozhina, I., Andersen, J.L., Lifton, N.A. and Stroeven, A.P. (2021). Nunataks as barriers to ice flow: implications for palaeo ice-sheet reconstructions. The Cryosphere. doi:10.5194/tc-15-4929-2021.

Smedley, R.K., Small, D., Jones, R.S., Brough, S., Bradley, J. and Jenkins, G.T.H. (2021). Erosion rates in a wet, temperate climate derived from rock luminescence techniques. Geochronology. doi:10.5194/gchron-3-525-2021.

Jones, R.S., Gudmundsson, G.H., Mackintosh, A.N., McCormack, F.S. and Whitmore, R.J. (2021). Ocean‐Driven and Topography‐Controlled Nonlinear Glacier Retreat During the Holocene: southwestern Ross Sea, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters. doi:10.1029/2020GL091454.

We carried out high-resolution ice-flow modelling to investigate the drivers and controls of past ice sheet sheet. This highlighted that key processes governing modern and future ice sheet mass loss—ocean warming and feedbacks associated with bedrock geometry (pinning points and retrograde slope)—occurred in the past on timescales of centuries to millennia.


Jones, R.S., Whitmore, R.J., Mackintosh, A.N., Norton, K.P., Eaves, S.R., Stutz, J. and Christl, M. (2020). Regional-scale abrupt Mid-Holocene ice sheet thinning in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica. Geology. doi:10.1130/G48347.1.

Here cosmogenic exposure records of ice sheet thinning demonstrate that a regional-scale Antarctic ice loss event occurred in the Mid-Holocene. An episode of abrupt glacier thinning is shown to be near-identical in timing, rate and magnitude to that recorded at another glacier 100 km away. The overarching driver was likely regional ocean warming.

Anderson, J.T.H., Wilson, G.S., Jones, R.S., Fink, D. and Toshiyuki, F. (2020). Ice surface lowering of Skelton Glacier, Transantarctic Mountains, since the Last Glacial Maximum: Implications for retreat of grounded ice in the western Ross Sea. Quaternary Science Reviews, 237, 106305. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106305.

An ice surface lowering history was reconstructed at Skelton Glacier using cosmogenic exposure dating. Most glacier thinning likely occurred between ~15 and 6 thousand years ago in response to changes in grounded ice in the Ross Embayment.

Lowry, D.P., Golledge, N.R., Bertler, N.A., Jones, R.S., McKay, R. and Stutz, J. (2020). Geologic controls on ice sheet sensitivity to deglacial climate forcing in the Ross Embayment, Antarctica. Quaternary Science Advances, 1, 100002. doi:10.1016/j.qsa.2020.100002.

Ice sheet sensitivity to geological variables was assessed using a large ensemble of model simulations for the Ross Sea sector of Antarctica. The behaviour of the ice sheet during retreat is more sensitive to the choice of these model parameters than to climate forcing.


Eaves, S.R., Winckler, G., Mackintosh, A.N., Schaefer, J.M., Townsend, D.B., Doughty, A.M., Jones, R.S. and Leonard, G.S. (2019). Late-glacial and Holocene glacier fluctuations in North Island, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews, 223, 105914. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.105914.

The glacial history on Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand, was reconstructed using cosmogenic (³He) exposure dating. Glaciers in North Island readvanced at c. 14–11 ka, and were larger during the mid-Holocene than the Little Ice Age.

Lowry, D.P., Golledge, N.R., Bertler, N.A., Jones, R.S. and McKay, R. (2019). Deglacial grounding-line retreat in the Ross Embayment, Antarctica, controlled by ocean and atmosphere forcing. Science Advances, 5, p.eaav8754. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aav8754.

Ice sheet modelling was performed using a range of atmospheric and oceanic forcings, and simulations were compared against geological data. Atmospheric conditions were important early in the deglaciation, while ocean thermal forcing was the key driver of retreat in the Holocene.

Jones, R.S., Whitehouse, P.L., Bentley, M.J., Small, D. and Dalton, A.S. (2019). Impact of glacial isostatic adjustment on cosmogenic surface-exposure dating. Quaternary Science Reviews, 212, 206-212. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.012.

The paper investigated the spatial and temporal impact of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) on cosmogenic-nuclide production and corresponding surface-exposure ages over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. Correcting for GIA can make exposure age younger or older (by as much as ~2,500 years).

Jones, R.S., Small, D., Cahill, N., Bentley, M.J. and Whitehouse, P.L. (2019). iceTEA: Tools for plotting and analysing cosmogenic-nuclide surface-exposure data from former ice margins. Quaternary Geochronology, 51, 72-86. doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2019.01.001.

The paper introduces and describes iceTEA (Tools for Exposure Ages). The tools are designed to help users better analyse and understand spatial and temporal patterns within their data, leading to improved reconstructions of past glacier and ice sheet change.

Small, D., Bentley, M.J., Jones, R.S., Pittard, M.L. and Whitehouse, P.L. (2019). Antarctic ice sheet palaeo-thinning rates from vertical transects of cosmogenic exposure ages. Quaternary Science Reviews206, 65-80. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.12.024.

Here vertical transects of surface-exposure ages were compiled to produce the first continent-wide database of past Antarctic Ice Sheet thinning rates. The generated thinning rates are similar to rates observed by satellites today, and occurred broadly in the same locations as modern ice sheet thinning.


Eaves, S.R., Collins, J.A., Jones, R.S., Norton, K.P., Tims, S.G. and Mackintosh, A.N. (2018), Further constraint of the in situ cosmogenic 10Be production rate in pyroxene and a viability test for late Quaternary exposure dating. Quaternary Geochronology, 48, 121-132. doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2018.09.006.

The paper describes an improved method for extracting 10Be from pyroxene, and successful applications to a rock avalanche in New Zealand (to derive a production rate) and to a vertical transect of cobbles in Antarctica (to produce a consistent record of ice sheet thinning). Recommendations for further improvements to the method are also provided.


Jones, R.S., Norton, K.P., Mackintosh, A.N., Anderson, J.T.H., Kubik, P., Vockenhuber, C., Wittmann, H., Fink, D., Wilson, G.S., Golledge, N.R., McKay, R. (2017), Cosmogenic nuclides constrain surface fluctuations of an East Antarctic outlet glacier since the Pliocene. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 480, 75-86. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.09.014.

Here the long-term glacial history is reported for an Antarctic outlet glacier. Analysis of multiple nuclides (10Be and 26Al) revealed that this part of the East Antarctic ice sheet has not been stable, and instead, ice thickness has been fluctuating over glacial-interglacial cycles for several million years.

Jones, R.S., Lowe, J., Palmer, A., Eaves, S., Golledge, N. (2017), Dynamics and palaeoclimatic inferences of a Loch Lomond Stadial glacier: Coire Ardair, Creag Meagaidh, Western Highlands, Scotland. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 28(1), 54-66. doi:10.1016/j.pgeola.2015.11.004.

The paper used geomorphological and sedimentological analysis in combination with ice sheet model output to investigate the dynamics of a Late Glacial glacier. A dense suite of moraines records a multi-phase recessional history. We suggested that the glacier responded to sub-centennial scale climate fluctuations rather than to a single, prominent shift in climate.


Jones, R.S., Golledge, N.R., Mackintosh, A.N., Norton, K.P. (2016), Past and present dynamics of Skelton Glacier, Transantarctic Mountains. Antarctic Science, 28(5), 371-386. doi:10.1017/S0954102016000195.

Here the controls, along-flow sensitivity and time-dependent dynamics of a Transantarctic Mountains outlet glacier was investigated using modern observations and ice-flow modelling. The outcomes indicate that glaciers could experience greater ice loss in their confined, lower reaches through increased basal sliding, in addition to ocean melt, in a warming climate.


Jones, R.S., Mackintosh, A.N., Norton, K.P., Golledge, N.R., Fogwill,  C.J., Kubik, P.W., Christl, M. and Greenwood, S.L. (2015). Rapid Holocene thinning of an East Antarctic outlet glacier driven by marine ice sheet instability. Nature Communications, 6(8910). doi:10.1038/ncomms9910.

The paper provides direct evidence of ‘marine ice sheet instability’ in the geological record. Vertical transects of surface-exposure ages record an episode of rapid thinning in the mid-Holocene, which persisted for more than two and a half centuries, resulting in hundreds of metres of ice loss. Ice-flow simulations showed that this occurred from accelerated retreat into an over-deepened basin.


Fogwill, C.J., Turney, C.S.M., Golledge, N.R., Rood, D.H., Hippe, K., Wacker, L., Wieler, R., Rainsley, E.B. and Jones, R.S. (2014). Drivers of abrupt Holocene shifts in West Antarctic ice stream direction from combined ice sheet modelling and geologic signatures. Antarctic Science, 26, 674-686. doi:10.1017/S0954102014000613.

Golledge, N.R., Marsh, O.J., Rack, W., Braaten, D. and Jones, R.S. (2014). Basal conditions of two Transantarctic Mountain outlet glaciers from observation-constrained diagnostic modelling. Journal of Glaciology, 60(223), 855-866. doi:10.3189/2014JoG13J131.

Mackintosh, A.N., Verleyen, E., O’Brien, P.E., White, D.A., Jones, R.S., McKay, R., Dunbar, R., Gore, D.B., Fink, D., Post, A.L., Miura, H., Leventer, A., Godwin, I., Hodgson, D.A., Lilly, K., Crosta, X., Golledge, N.R., Wagner, B., Berg, S., van Ommen, T., Zwartz, D., Roberts, S.J., Vyverman, W., Masse, G. (2014).  Retreat history of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews, 100, 10-30. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.07.024.

The RAISED Consortium, Bentley, M.J., Cofaigh, C., Anderson, J.B., Conway, H., Davies, B., Graham, A.G.C., Hillenbrand, C-D., Hodgson, D.A., Jamieson, S.S.R., Larter, R.D., Mackintosh, A., Smith, J.A., Verleyen, E., … Jones, R.S., et al. (2014). A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews, 100, 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.06.025.


Late Cenozoic behaviour of two Transantarctic Mountain outlet glaciers. Ph.D. thesis, Victoria University of Wellington. (President’s Award for Best Doctoral Thesis, New Zealand Geographical Society.)

Reconstructing the form, dynamics and palaeoclimatic significance of an inferred Loch Lomond Stadial glacier in Coire Ardair, Creag Meagaidh, Scotland. M.Sc. thesis, University of London.

The affect of altitude on lichenometry and dendrochronology dating methods at an intra- glacial foreland scale: Tsidjiore Nouve, Valais, Swiss Alps. B.Sc. dissertation, University of Gloucestershire. (Special Commendation, Alfred Steers Essay Prize (Royal Geographical Society), for the best undergraduate dissertation in a UK geography department.)