Profile for Kelly Brunt

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Title: Assistant Research Scientist
Affiliation: University of Maryland
Contact: E-mail
Office Phone: 301-286-5943
Fax: 301-614-5644

Short Biography

Dr. Brunt is an Assistant Research Scientist with Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), at the University of Maryland. She joined the NASA Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory in June 2010. She obtained a B.S. in Geology from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Montana. She received her Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Chicago in 2008, modeling ice-shelf flow and the connection between ice shelves, ice streams, and the ocean. As a postdoctoral scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, she worked on the calibration and validation of Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry data. Dr. Brunt is part of the ICESat-2 mission, scheduled to launch in 2017. Her current role with this project involves the planning for the post-launch calibration and validation of ICESat-2 elevation data. She is also working with MABEL, a high-altitude airborne laser altimeter designed as a simulator for ICESat-2.

Research interests

Ice Shelves and Laser Altimetry

Dr. Brunt is interested in the mechanisms of large-scale ice-sheet flow as part of the effort to understand the role of ice margins in climate change. Her dissertation developed a model to assess the flow of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, in response to ocean tides and then validated the model results based on GPS data collected at the front of the ice shelf. Her most recent projects use ICESat data to examine the character of the grounding zones of Antarctic ice shelves. At ESSIC and NASA, Dr. Brunt will be providing ice-sheet analysis for the ICESat-2 mission.


Current Projects

Professional Experience

Field Work


Borsa, A., G. Moholdt, H.A. Fricker, and K.M. Brunt (2014). A range correction for ICESat and its potential impact on ice-sheet mass balance studies The Cryosphere, 8, 345–357

Brunt, K., T. A. Neumann, K. M. Walsh, and T. Markus. (2014). Determination of Local Slope on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using a Multibeam Photon-Counting Lidar in Preparation for the ICESat-2 Mission IEEE Geoscience and Remoste Sensing Letters, 11(5).

Brunt, K., and D. R. MacAyeal (2014). Tidal modulation of ice-shelf flow: a viscous model of the Ross Ice Shelf Journal of Glaciology, 60(221).

Kwok, R., T. Markus, J. Morison, S. P. Palm, T. A. Neumann, K. M. Brunt, W. B. Cook, D. W. Hancock, and G. F. Cunningham. (2014). Profiling sea ice with a Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL) Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 31(5), 1151-1168

Walker, R., B. R. Parizek, R. B. Alley, K. M. Brunt, and S. Anandakrishnan. (2014). Ice-shelf flexure and tidal forcing of Bindschadler Ice Stream, West Antarctica Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 395, 184-196

Bindschadler, R., Choi, H., Wichlacz, A., Bingham, R., Brunt, K, Corr, H., Drews, R., Fricker, H., Hall, M., Hindmarch, R., Kohler, J., Padman, L., Rack, W., Rotschky, G., Urbini, S., P. Vornberger, and Young, N. (2011). Getting around Antarctica: new high-resolution mappings of the grounded and freely-floating boundaries of the Antarctic ice sheet created for the International Polar Year The Cryosphere, 5, 569-588

Brunt, K., H.A. Fricker, and L. Padman (2011). Analysis of ice plains of Filchner/Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica, using ICESat laser altimetry Journal of Glaciology, 57(205), 965-975

Brunt, K., E.A. Okal, and D.R. MacAyeal. (2011). Antarctic ice-shelf calving triggered by Honshu earthquake and tsunami Journal of Glaciology, 57(205), 785-788

Brunt, K., H.A. Fricker, L. Padman, T.A. Scambos, and S. O'Neel. (2010). Mapping the grounding zone of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, using ICESat laser altimetry Annals of Glaciology, 51(55), 71-79

Brunt, K., M.A. King, H.A. Fricker, and D.R. MacAyeal. (2010). Flow of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, is modulated by the ocean tide Journal of Glaciology, 56(195), 157-161