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Dr. Michael James McCarthy





Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf


Birmensdorf Bi LG D 01


Current projects

  • Estimating supraglacial debris thickness over High-Mountain Asia using region-wide elevation model differences
  • Exploring the role of rock and debris-covered glaciers in the hydrologic system of the Chilean Andes

Curriculum vitae

Aug 2019 - present: Postdoctoral Researcher, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Switzerland

Feb 2019 - Aug 2019: Research Assistant, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Switzerland

Oct 2014 - Jul 2019: PhD Candidate, British Antarctic Survey, Scott Polar Research Institute (University of Cambridge), Cambridge

Aug 2010 - Oct 2014: Exploration Geologist, Stratex International Ltd, Ethiopia, Liberia, Senegal


Research interests

  • Energy-balance modelling
  • Glaciohydrological modelling
  • Glacier remote sensing
  • Supraglacial debris thickness estimation
  • Debris-covered glaciers
  • Ice- and ground-penetrating radar


Nicholson L, McCarthy M , Pritchard H, Willis I (2018). Supraglacial debris thickness variability: Impact on ablation, and relation to terrain properties. The Cryosphere, 12, 3719-3734

Rounce D, King O, McCarthy M , Shean D, Salerno F (2018). Quantifying the thickness of debris covered glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal through inversion of a sub-debris melt model. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 123, 1094-1115

McCarthy M , Pritchard H, Willis I, King E (2017). Ground penetrating radar measurements of debris thickness on Lirung Glacier, Nepal. Journal of Glaciology, 63 (239), 543-555