An Appeal for Audio Recordings of Glaciers!

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An Appeal for Audio Recordings of Glaciers!

William Harcourt

Dear Cryolist,


I am reaching out to the cryosphere/glaciology community to ask for some assistance. My name is Will Harcourt and I am a PhD student at the University of St Andrews where I am developing new techniques to monitor glaciers from satellites and the ground. I am working on a very exciting outreach project, in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), to create a piece a music that encapsulates my research and the wider discipline. The aim of this project is to combine the artistic excellence of musicians and the knowledge of scientific researchers to bring the world of science to new audiences. The final piece will be presented at the Scottish edition of the Explorathon 2020 event ( due to be held in St Andrews, but will of course now be mostly virtual. Explorathon is a part of the European Researchers’ night (and day) which celebrates research through public outreach.


In the piece of music we are composing we would like to capture the essence of glaciers: their movement, the rapid changes they are undergoing and their hostile environments. We would like to integrate the natural sounds of glaciers from audio recordings with musical instruments and this is where we need your help!


We are asking anyone who is willing to offer an audio recording (or video in which we can extract the sounds) that helps us convey the beauty and fragility of glaciers and their environments to reach out to me. In particular, we are looking for anything that you may have that resembles any of the following (in order of preference!):

  1. Anything that resembles ice moving
  2. Glacier creaking
  3. Iceberg calving
  4. Glacier fracturing
  5. Snow accumulation
  6. Blustering snow


These sounds can be found across the cryosphere, so anything that resembles these themes (e.g. lab experiments, sea ice) are all welcome! I really appreciate anyone coming forward to help us and we will of course acknowledge your contribution at the Explorathon 2020 event. If you are willing to offer something or believe you may be able to soon, please send me an email ([hidden email]). The composition of the music is likely to finish in the next month or so.


I look forward to hearing what the glaciology community has to offer!


Best wishes,





William D. Harcourt

PhD Student in Physics

School of Physics and Astronomy

Room 124

Telephone: +44 (0) 1334 463155

University of St Andews

KY16 9SS


Twitter: @will_harcourt




PhD Title: ‘The application of millimetre wave radar to the study of volcano-glacier interactions and ice-ocean interactions in conditions of reduced visibility ’

New Paper: Subglacial Controls on dynamic thinning at Trinity-Wykeham Glacier, Prince of Wales Ice Field, Canadian Arctic.

New Blog Post:



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