Department of Physics

Dr Andy Mahoney

Andy Mahoney

BSc (Hons) Geophysical Sciences, 1999, University of East Anglia
PhD Geophysics, 2006, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests:

My current research focuses on winter sea ice growth processes in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. This work is centered around an over-wintering research trip to Scott Base, where we will conduct a broad sea ice-ocean field campaign to better understand the role of the ocean-ice shelf interaction in modifying the water of the Sound and contributing to the mass balance of the sea ice cover.

Prior to coming to the University of Otago, I have carried out a range of sea ice research in the Arctic examining long term changes and their local effects. Combining field research with a remote sensing approach, I have investigated the dynamic processes related to the annual advance and retreat of landfast sea ice in Alaska and how this regime has changed in recent decades. To look at longer term changes, I have analyzed historic Russian sea ice charts and compiled a timeseries of sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic dating back to 1933. At a local scale, I have collaborated with geographers and local communities in an interdisciplinary project (Siku Inuit Hila) aimed at quantifying sea ice regimes at the local scale and understanding the dynamic relationship between humans and sea ice. As part of this work, I have helped establish a community-based Arctic sea ice monitoring network based in Barrow, Alaska; Clyde River, Canada; and Qaanaaq, Greenland.

Curriculum vitae (pdf)

In the News:

  • Rocky Mountain News article
  • ABC News article
  • Publications:

    Mahoney, A., H. Eicken, and L. Shapiro (2003), Alaskan landfast sea ice variability and episodic events, Ber. Polarforsch., 443, 60-63.

    Mahoney, A., H. Eicken, L. H. Shapiro, and T. C. Grenfell (2004), Ice motion and driving forces during a spring ice shove on the Alaskan Chukchi coast, J. Glaciol., 50, 195-207.

    Mahoney, A., H. Eicken, L. Shapiro, and A. Graves (2005), Defining and locating the seaward landfast ice edge in northern Alaska, 18th International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions, Potsdam, N.Y., June 26-30, 2005.

    Eicken, H., R. Gradinger, A. Graves, A. Mahoney, I. Rigor, and H. Melling (2006), Sediment transport by sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas: Increasing importance due to changing ice conditions, Deep-Sea Res. II, 52, 3281-3302.

    Eicken, H., L. Shapiro, A. G. Gaylord, A. Mahoney, and P. Cotter (2006), Mapping and Characterization of Recurring Spring Leads and Landfast Ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi SeasFinal Report, Minerals Management Service OCS Study MMS 2005-068, Report, 180 pp.

    Mahoney, A. (2006), Alaska Landfast Sea Ice Dynamics, Ph. D. thesis, University of Alaska Fairbanks, August, 2006.

    Mahoney, A., H. Eicken, A. G. Gaylord, and L. Shapiro (2007), Alaska landfast sea ice: Links with bathymetry and atmospheric circulation, Jour. Geophys. Res, 112, C02001.

    Mahoney, A., H. Eicken, and L. Shapiro (2007), How fast is landfast sea ice? A study of the attachment and detachment of nearshore ice at Barrow, Alaska, Cold Reg. Sci. and Tech., 47, 233-255.

    Mahoney, A. (2008), Sea Ice Edge Location and Extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006, National Snow and Ice Data Center, Digital media. (

    Mahoney, A. and S. Gearheard (2008), Handbook for Community-Based Sea Ice Monitoring, NSIDC Special Report 14. Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center. (pdf, 24 MB)

    Holt, B , P. Kanagaratnam; S.P. Gogineni; V. Ramasami; A. Mahoney; V. Lytle (2008), Sea Ice Thickness Measurements By Ultrawideband Penetrating Radar: First Results, Cold Regions Science and Technology, doi:10.1016/j.coldregions.2008.04.007, in press.

    Mahoney, A. R., R. G. Barry, V. Smolyanitsky, and F. Fetterer (2008), Observed sea ice extent in the Russian Arctic, 1933-2006, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2008JC004830, in press.

    Mahoney, A., S. Gearheard, T. Oshima and T.Qillaq (in press), Sea ice thickness measurements from a community-based observing network, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.