Emeritus Professor Fiona Tweed


Justice, Security and Sustainability

Fiona Tweed is Professor of Physical Geography. Fiona’s main research interests are glacial processes and natural hazards; she is an international expert on glacial outburst floods and natural hazards with over 25 years’ experience of collaborative field research, mainly in the spectacular glaciated and volcanic environments of Iceland. Her research has been funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), Earthwatch, the European Science Foundation and the European Commission and has been widely published in international peer-reviewed journals. She is an experienced reviewer for scientific journals and grant-funding bodies and has served on a range of international research committees.

Global warming is causing melting of glaciers and ice sheets worldwide, affecting the environment and society. The growth of glacial lakes as ice melts is one effect of this warming and floods from some lakes are increasing, endangering lives and causing damage to property and infrastructure. Investigating the causes and impacts of such floods is one aspect of Fiona’s research. Together with Jonathan Carrivick (University of Leeds), she recently published the first global analysis of the societal impacts of glacier floods. Fiona was also part of a team investigating outburst flooding from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland and she has a long-standing interest in ice-covered volcanoes. Fiona’s work also focuses on risk and resilience and she has led European Commission funded research in these areas.

Fiona has extensive experience of leading international ‘citizen science’ field research expeditions and is committed to raising the profile of earth science education, frequently addressing audiences of up to 2000 people at student conferences in London and Manchester. She also devised ‘Ice and Fire’, an integrated public lecture and exhibition of images from her work, showcased as part Staffordshire University’s ‘At the Home of Great Minds’ series.

Fiona uses her research expertise to inform her teaching at Staffordshire University; an enthusiastic and inspiring educator, she is a leader in the field of research-engaged learning and teaching in Geography. She has developed undergraduate fieldwork using investigative team approaches and has devised modules that enable students to be directly involved in cutting-edge research. Fiona is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the HEA in December 2016.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Expert scientific reviewer for the European Commission

  • Expert scientific reviewer for the European Science Foundation

  • Scientific editorial board member for the Icelandic geosciences journal Jökull

  • National Teaching Fellow

  • Fellow of the RGS

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • Member of the Higher Education Research Group of the RGS-IBG

  • Honorary President of the North Staffordshire Geographical Association

Academic qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE), Staffordshire University

Ph.D. Keele University
Thesis: Predicting Glacial Lake Formation and Catastrophic Drainage at Sólheimajökull, Southern Iceland

B.A. Joint Honours Geography & English, Keele University (with Foundation Year and subsidiaries in Psychology and Geology)


  • Internationally-recognised researcher

  • Research management

  • Public engagement and knowledge exchange

  • Local, national and international links

  • Journal referee, expert research reviewer and research thesis examiner

  • International conference organisation

Research interests

Glacial geomorphology and glacial processes, specifically glacier outburst floods, ice and volcano interactions, glacier surges, the development and dynamics of glacial lakes and sediment fluxes in cold environments

Environmental reconstruction in Scotland and Iceland

Natural hazards, risk governance, vulnerability and resilience

Landscape quality and landscape evaluation

The culturally-embedded nature of popular music

Enterprise and commercial interests

As a member of the University’s Institute for Environment, Sustainability and Regeneration, I have engaged in research on European-funded projects in the dd of hazard management.

ARMONIA. The ARMONIA project developed a new approach to producing integrated multi-risk maps to achieve more effective spatial planning procedures in areas of Europe prone to natural disasters. The project was funded by the European Community under the Sixth Framework Programme and was awarded a grant of over €1 million. ARMONIA involved 13 European partners from seven countries and ran from October 2004 to March 2007.


My main areas of teaching are geomorphological processes and landforms and natural hazards. As well as teaching through the usual means of lectures, practical workshops, seminars and tutorials, I am committed to fieldwork as an effective learning and teaching environment and I have supervised over 70 residential field courses to-date, both in the U.K. (e.g. Peak District, North Wales, Scottish Highlands) and overseas (e.g. Iceland, Tunisia). My research expertise directly informs my teaching and there are opportunities for students to become directly involved in my research.

Undergraduate teaching

Level 6
The Geomorphology of Cold Environments (module leader)
Ice Age Britain
Geography and Environment Dissertation (module leader)
Geography and Environment Research Assistantship (module leader)

Level 5
This Changing Earth
Project Preparation and Planning

Level 4
The Dynamic Earth
Geology and Landscapes

Fieldwork activities
Supervision of Level 6 residential field course to the Scottish Highlands (part of Ice Age Britain)
Supervision of Level 4 residential field course to Castleton



Carver, R.E. and Tweed, F.S. 2021. Cover the ice or ski on grass? The dilemmas facing tourism in a deglaciating world. Geography 106, 116-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/00167487.2021.1970926

Carrivick, J.L. and Tweed, F.S. 2021. Deglaciation controls on sediment yield: towards capturing spatio-temporal variability. Earth Science Reviews 221, 103809 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103809

Carrivick, J.L., Tweed, F.S., Sutherland, J.L. and Mallalieu, J. 2020. Towards numerical modelling of interactions between ice-marginal lakes and glaciers. Frontiers in Earth Science (Cryospheric Sciences) 8, 577068. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2020.577068

Jovanovska, D., Swetnam, R.D., Tweed, F.S. and Melovski, L. 2020. Assessing the landscape visual quality of Shar Planina, North Macedonia. Landscape Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01122-5

Tweed, F.S. 2020. Students as co-learners: reviewing a decade of the Geography Research Assistantship. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 44, 569 591. https://doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2020.1771686

Blauvelt, D., Russell, A.J., Large, A.R.G., Tweed, F.S., Heimstra, J.F., Kulessa, B., Evans, D.J.A. and Waller, R.I. 2020. Controls on jökulhlaup-transported buried ice melt-out at Skeiðarársandur, Iceland: implications for the evolution of ice-marginal environments. Geomorphology 360, 107164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107164

Tweed, F.S. 2019. The witch, the wasteland and the gateway to Hell: Iceland’s volcanoes and their hazards. Geography 104, 125-133.

Carrivick J.L., and Tweed F.S. 2019. A review of glacier outburst floods in Iceland and Greenland with a megafloods perspective. Earth-Science Reviews 196, 102876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.102876

Tweed, F. and Watson, A. 2019. The screams all sound the same: the music of Of Monsters and Men and the Icelandic imaginary as geographical discourse. Area 51, 126-133. http://doi.org/10.1111/area.12422

Burns, R., Wynn, P.M., Barker, P., McNamara, N., Oakley, S., Ostle, N., Stott, A.W., Tuffen, H., Zhou, Z., Tweed, F., Chesler, A. and Stuart, M. 2018. ‘Direct isotopic evidence of biogenic methane production and efflux beneath a temperate glacier’. Nature Scientific Reports 8, 17118 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35253-2

Swetnam, R.D. and Tweed, F.S. 2018. A tale of two landscapes: Transferring landscape quality metrics from Wales to Iceland. Land Use Policy 76, 565-576. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.02.037

Carrivick J.L., Tweed F.S., Ng F., Quincey D.J., Mallalieu J., Ingeman-Nielsen T., Mikkelsen A.B., Palmer S.J., Yde J.C., Homer R., Russell A.J. and Hubbard A. 2017. Ice-Dammed Lake Drainage Evolution at Russell Glacier, West Greenland. Frontiers in Earth Science (Cryospheric Sciences) 5, 100 https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2017.00100

Carrivick, J.L., Tweed, F.S., James, W.M., and Jóhannesson, T. 2016. Surface and geometry changes during the first documented surge of Kverkjökull, central Iceland. Jökull 66, 27-49.

Carrivick, J.L. & Tweed, F.S. 2016. A global assessment of the societal impacts of glacier outburst floods. Global and Planetary Change 144, 1-16.

Tweed, F.S. & Carrivick, J.L. 2015. Deglaciation and proglacial lakes. Geology Today 31: 96-102.

Staines, K.E.H., Carrivick, J.L., Tweed, F.S., Evans, A.J., Russell, A.J., Jóhannesson, T. and Roberts, M. 2015. A multi-dimensional analysis of proglacial landscape change at Sólheimajökull, southern Iceland. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 40: 809-822.

Wynn, P.M., Morrell, D.J., Tuffen, H., Barker, P., Tweed, F.S. and Burns, R. 2015. Seasonal release of anoxic geothermal meltwater from the Katla volcanic system at Sólheimajökull, Iceland. Chemical Geology, 396: 228-238.

Walker, G., Tweed, F. and Whittle, R. 2014. A framework for profiling the characteristics of risk governance in natural hazards contexts. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 14: 155-164.

Carrivick, J.L. & Tweed, F.S. 2013. Proglacial lakes: character, behaviour and geological importance. Quaternary Science Reviews 78: 34-52.

Dunning, S.A., Large, A.R.G., Russell, A.J., Roberts, M.J., Duller, R., Woodward, J., Mériaux, A.S., Tweed, F.S. & Lim, M. 2013. The role of multiple glacier outburst floods in proglacial landscape evolution: the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, Iceland. Geology 41, 1123-1126.

Carrivick, J.L., Tweed, F.S. Carling, P., Alho, P., Marren, P.M., Staines, K., Russell, A.J., Rushmer, E.L. & Duller, R. 2013. Discussion of ‘Field evidence and hydraulic modeling of large Holocene jökulhlaup at Jokulsa a Fjollum channel, Iceland’ by Douglas Howard, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach and Timothy Beach, 2012’. Geomorphology 201, 512-519.

Tweed, F.S. 2012 ‘Now that the dust has settled…’ the impacts of Icelandic volcanic eruptions. Geology Today 28, 217-223.

Tweed, F. & Walker, G. 2011. Some lessons for resilience from the 2011 multi-disaster in Japan. Local Environment 16, 937-942.

Tweed, F. & Boast, R. 2011. Reviewing the ‘Research Placement’ as a means of enhancing student learning and expanding research capacity. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 35, 599-615.

Harris, T., & Tweed, F.S. 2010. A research-led, inquiry-based learning experiment: classic landforms of deglaciation, Glen Etive, Scottish Highlands. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 34, 511-528.

Russell, A.J., Tweed, F.S., Roberts, M.J., Harris, T.H., Gomundsson, M.T., Knudsen, Ó. & Marren, P.M. 2010. An unusual jökulhlaup resulting from subglacial volcanism, Sólheimajökull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 29, 1363-1381.

Carrivick, J.L.; Russell, A.J.; Rushmer, E.L.; Tweed, F.S.; Marren, P.M.; Deeming, H.; Lowe, O.J. 2009. Geomorphological evidence towards a de-glacial control on volcanism. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms 34, 1164–1178.

Korup, O. & Tweed, F.S. 2007. Ice, moraine and landslide dams in mountainous terrain. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 3406-3422.

Tweed, F.S.; Roberts, M.J.; & Russell, A.J. 2005. Hydrologic monitoring of supercooled discharge from Icelandic glaciers. Quaternary Science Reviews 24, 2308-2318.

Russell, A.J.; Roberts, M.J.; Fay, H.; Marren, P.M.; Cassidy, N.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Harris, T. 2005. Icelandic jökulhlaup impacts: implications for ice-sheet hydrology, sediment transfer and geomorphology. Geomorphology 75, 33-64.

Roberts, M.J.; Pálsson, F.; Guðmundsson, M.T.; Björnsson, H.; & Tweed, F.S. 2005. Ice-water interactions during floods from Grænalón glacier-dammed lake, Iceland. Annals of Glaciology 40, 133-138.

Russell, A.J.; Fay, H.; Marren, P.M.; Tweed, F.S.; and Knudsen, Ó. 2005. Icelandic jökulhlaup impacts. In: Caseldine, C.J.; Russell, A.J.; Knudsen, Ó.; & Harðardóttir, J., ed. Iceland: Modern Processes and Past Environments. Elsevier.

Carrivick, J.L.; Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; and Twigg, D. 2004. Palaeohydrology and sedimentology of jökulhlaups from Kverkfjöll, Iceland. Sedimentary Geology 172, 19-40.

Carrivick, J.L.; Russell, A.J.; & Tweed, F.S. 2004. Geomorphological evidence for strong topographic and geological controls on high magnitude glacial outburst floods (jökulhlaups) from Kverkfjöll volcano, Iceland. Geomorphology 63, 81-102.

Harris, T.D.; Tweed, F.S.; & Knudsen, Ó. 2004. A polygenetic landform at Stigá, Öræfajökull, southern Iceland. Geografiska Annaler 86A, 143-154.

Roberts, M.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Russell, A.J.; Knudsen, Ó.; & Harris, T.D. 2003. Hydrologic and Geomorphic effects of Temporary Ice-Dammed Lake Formation During Jökulhlaups. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms 28, 723-737.

Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Harris, T.D. 2003. Glaciolacustrine sedimentation at Creag Aoil, Spean Bridge, Scotland: implications for meltwater movement and storage during Loch Lomond Stadial ice retreat. Journal of Quaternary Science 18, 415-430.

Rushmer, E.L.; Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Knudsen, Ó.; & Marren, P.M. 2002. The Role of Hydrograph Shape in Controlling Glacier Outburst Flood (Jökulhlaup) Sedimentation: Justification of Field Prototypes for Flume Modelling. InternationalAssociation of Hydrological Sciences Red Book Publication 276, (Proceedings of ‘The Structure and Management Implications of Fluvial Sedimentary Systems’ Symposium, Alice Springs, September 2002), 305-313.

Roberts, M.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Russell, A.J.; Knudsen, Ó.; Lawson, D.E.; Larsen, G.J.; Evenson, E.B.; & Björnsson, H. 2002. Glaciohydraulic supercooling and englacial sediment entrainment in temperate glaciers. Geology 30, 435-438.

Roberts, M.J.; Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Knudsen, Ó. 2002. Controls on the Development of Supraglacial Floodwater Outlets during Jökulhlaups. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Red Book Publication 271 (Proceedings of ‘The Extremes of the Extremes’ Symposium, Reykjavík, July 2000), 71-76.

Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; Knudsen, Ó.; Roberts, M.J.; Harris, T.D.; & Marren, P.M., 2002. The geomorphic impact and sedimentary characteristics of the July 1999 jökulhlaup on the Jökulsá á Sólheimasandi, Mýrdalsjökull, southern Iceland. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Red Book Publication 271 (Proceedings of ‘The Extremes of the Extremes’ Symposium, Reykjavík, July 2000), 249-254.

Roberts, M.J., Russell, A.J.,Tweed, F.S. & Knudsen, Ó., 2001. Controls on englacial sediment deposition during the November 1996 jökulhlaup, Skeiðarárjökull, Iceland. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms 26, 935-952.

Tweed, F.S. 2000. An ice-dammed lake in Jökulsárgil: predictive modelling and geomorphological evidence. Jökull 48, 1-11.

Roberts, M.J.; Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Knudsen, Ó. 2000. Rapid sediment entrainment and englacial deposition during jökulhlaups. Journal of Glaciology 153, 349-351.

Tweed, F.S. 2000. Jökulhlaup Initiation by Ice-Dam Flotation: The Significance of Glacier Debris-Content. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 25, 105-108.

Roberts, M.J.; Russell, A.J.; Tweed, F.S.; & Knudsen, Ó. 2000. Ice fracturing during jökulhlaups: implications for englacial floodwater routing and outlet development. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms 25, 1429-1446.

Tweed, F.S. & Russell, A.J. 1999. Controls on the formation and sudden drainage of glacier-impounded lakes: implications for jökulhlaup characteristics. Progress in Physical Geography 23, 79-110.

Knight, P.G. & Tweed, F.S. 1991. Periodic Drainage of Ice-Dammed Lakes as a Result of Variations in Glacier Velocity. Hydrological Processes 5, 175-84.


Russell, A.J., Harrison, D., Ross, N., Tweed, F.S. and Harris, T.D. 2021. Creag Aoil and the Lundy Channel, Spean Bridge. In Palmer, A. (Ed) Nature and Timing of the Glaciation of the West Grampian Highlands, Scotland - Field Guide. Quaternary Research Association, London, pp. 188-199.

Tweed, F.S., Russell, A.J., Harris, T.D. and Roberts, M.J. 2018. Supercooled meltwater discharge from Skeiðarárjökull and Skaftafellsjökull and associated glacial debris entrainment. In: Evans D.J.A. (ed.) 2018. Quaternary Landsystems of Southeast Iceland:Quaternary Applications - Field Guide. Quaternary Research Association, London, pp. 50-61.

Tweed, F.S. 2017. Hydrological Extreme Events: Modelling and significance for understanding global change, demonstrating multidisciplinary context, 59, in: Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Neue Folge (2015), Supplementary Issue 31, 98 pages, 76 figures, 34 tables, paperback price 117.00 EUR, ISSN 0372-8854, e-ISSN 1864-1687. Quaternary Science Reviews 169, 398-399.

Tweed, F. and Boast, R. 2016. Reviewing the ‘Research Placement’ as a means of enhancing student learning and stimulating research activity. In: Pedagogic Research in Geography Higher Education. Ed. Haigh, M., Cotton, D. and Hall, T. Routledge.

Walker, G. and Tweed, F. 2014. Profiling risk governance in natural hazards contexts. Chapter 28 of ‘Risk governance: The articulation of hazard, politics and ecology’. Edited by Urbano Fra, Springer.

Delmonaco, G., Atun, F., Ceudech, A., Deeming, H., de Roo, A., Lumbroso, D., Galderisi, A., Kallache, M., Kropp, J.P., Kundak, S., Molinari, D., Tweed, F., Wade, S., Walker, G., Dandoulaki, M. & Barredo, J. 2011. Europe at Risk. In: Inside Risk: A Strategy for Sustainable Risk Mitigation, Ed., Menoni, S. & Margotini, C., Springer, Berlin, 364pp.

Tweed, F.S. 2011. Glaciohydraulic Supercooling. Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers edited by Singh, V.P., Singh, P. & Haritashya, U.K. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht, 438-439.

Tweed, F.S. 2011. Hydrology of Jökulhlaups. Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers edited by Singh, V.P., Singh, P. & Haritashya, U.K. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht, 544-546.

Tweed, F.S. 2011. Ice-Dammed Lakes. Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers edited by Singh, V.P., Singh, P. & Haritashya, U.K. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht, 619-621.

Tweed, F.S. 2011. Catastrophic Flooding. Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers edited by Singh, V.P., Singh, P. & Haritashya, U.K. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer, Dordrecht, 112-113.

Beylich, A.A., Lamoureux, S.F., Decaulne, A., Björk, R.G. & Tweed, F.S. 2007. Selection of critical key test catchments. In: Beylich, A.A. & Warburton, J. Analysis of Source-to-Sink-Fluxes and Sediment Budgets in Changing High-Latitude and High-Altitude Cold Environments: SEDIFLUX Manual. First Edition. NGU Report 2007.053. 158pp.

Tweed, F.S., Russell, A.J., Warburton, J. & Beylich, A.A. 2007. Research on sediment fluxes and sediment budgets in changing cold environments – a summary of key issues. In: Beylich, A.A. & Warburton, J. Analysis of Source-to-Sink-Fluxes and Sediment Budgets in Changing High-Latitude and High-Altitude Cold Environments: SEDIFLUX Manual. First Edition. NGU Report 2007.053. 158pp.

Warburton, J., Beylich, A.A., Etienne, S., Etzelmüller, B., Gordeev, V.V., Käyhko, J., Lantuit, H., Russell, A.J., Saemundsson, Þ., Schmidt, K.-H. & Tweed, F.S. 2007. Sediment budgets and rates of sediment transfer across cold environments in Europe: introduction and background to the European Science Foundation Network ‘Sedimentary Source-to-Sink-Fluxes in Cold Environments’ (SEDIFLUX). Geografiska Annaler 89A, 1-3.

Beylich, A.A., Etienne, S., Etzelmüller, B., Gordeev, V.V., Käyhko, J., Rachold, V., Russell, A.J., Schmidt, K.-H., Saemundsson, Þ.,Tweed, F.S. & Warburton, J. 2006. The European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX - An introduction and overview. Geomorphology 80, 3-7.

Beylich, A.A., Etienne, S., Etzelmüller, B., Gordeev, V.V., Käyhko, J., Rachold, V., Russell, A.J., Schmidt, K.-H., Saemundsson, Th., Tweed, F.S. & Warburton, J. 2005. Sedimentary Source-to-Sink-Fluxes in Cold Environments - Information on the European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX. Zeitschrift Für Geomorphologie 138, 229-234.

Tweed, F.S. 2005. Report on the first SEDIFLUX Science Meeting in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, June 2004. Jökull 54, 85-86.

Tweed, F.S. 2003. Flood and megaflood processes and deposits: recent and ancient examples, I. P. Martini, V. R. Baker and G. Garzón (eds), Special Publication 32, of the International Association of Sedimentologists, Blackwell Science, Oxford 2002. Journal of Quaternary Science 18, 193-194.

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