Matthew R. Siegfried

Matthew R. Siegfried

Assistant Professor

Department of Geophysics

Colorado School of Mines

office: Green Center 245B

phone: 303.384.2004


Matt is a glaciologist who uses satellite remote sensing techniques in combination with field-based and airborne geophysical methods to understand physical processes of Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets. He runs the Mines Glaciology Laboratory, where the team collects and synthesizes ground-, air-, and space-based datasets in an effort to span the spatial (centimeters to 100s of km) and temporal (minutes to centuries) on which these processes occur. He is particularly interested in processes at the ice-bed interface, which lies hidden beneath 10s to 1000s of meters of ice at the intersection between glaciology, hydrology, geology, microbiology, and oceanography. He strives to work with a diverse set of researchers to create a unique perspective on the role of subglacial processes within the larger global Earth system. As a polar scientist, Matt is also committed to maintaining an open discussion of the changing cryosphere, having collaborated with institutions ranging from local elementary schools to the U.S. State Department in an effort to facilitate our conversation about the local, regional, and global impacts of changes at the Earth’s poles. Matt is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Geophysics at Colorado School of Mines and is affiliated faculty with the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program and the Humanitarian Engineering Program.


  • PhD in Earth Sciences, 2015

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • M.S. in Earth Sciences, 2010

    Dartmouth College

  • A.B. in Earth Sciences, 2008

    Dartmouth College



Subglacial Hydrology

subglacial lakes, drainage processes, groundwater


Ice-Ocean Interaction

ice shelves, grounding zones, ice fronts


Air- & Space-borne Altimetry

Operation IceBridge, ICESat-2, CryoSat-2, NISAR

Funded Projects

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Workshop

The WAIS Workshop has been held annually for the past 25 years, providing a venue for transdisciplinary scientific exchange on the state and behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, processes that influence its changing behavior, and projections of its future mass balance and sea-level contribution. Collaborating Institutions: University of Washington, University of Seattle, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

SALSA EM: Mapping Subglacial Groundwater in Antarctica

Applying magnetotellurics and controlled-source electromagnetic sounding to test hypotheses about Antarctic groundwater beneath a fast-moving ice stream. Collaborating Institutions: Columbia University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Airborne laser altimetry error analysis

As part of the Operation IceBridge Science Team, we worked to better quantify cm-scale errors in lidar data in order to generate robust, long-duration time series of dynamic surface features of the Antarctic ice sheet. Collaborating Institutions: Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) Project

An integrated study of carbon cycling in hydrologically active subglacial environments. In December 2018, we drilled into a 50 foot deep lake beneath 3500 feet of ice and spent two weeks sampling it. Collaborating Institutions: Montana State University, University of South Florida, University of Florida, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Colgate University, Ohio State University, and University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Recent Publications

Ocean-driven melting of Antarctica’s ice shelves varies on multi-year timescales

Pervasive ice sheet mass loss reflects competing ocean and atmosphere processes

Quantifying changes in Earth’s ice sheets, and identifying the climate drivers, is central to improving sea-level projections. We …

Tidal pressurization of the ocean cavity near an Antarctic ice shelf grounding line

Mass loss from the Antarctic ice sheet is sensitive to conditions in ice shelf grounding zones, the transition between grounded and …

Antarctic topographic realizations and geostatistical modeling used to map subglacial lakes

Antarctic subglacial lakes can play an important role in ice sheet dynamics, biology, geology, and oceanography, but it is difficult to …

Estimation of ice fabric within Whillans Ice Stream using polarimetric phase-sensitive radar sounding

Here we use polarimetric measurements from an Autonomous phase-sensitive Radio-Echo Sounder (ApRES) to investigate ice fabric within …