Vjeran Visnjevic

Research statement

My research focuses on the interactions between climate, glaciers and erosion. Past glacial advances left a strong observable imprint on landscapes, such as abandoned moraines, trimlines and other glacial geomorphic features. These features provide a valuable record of past continental climate. In particular, terminal moraines reflect the extent of glaciers and ice caps, which itself reflects past temperature and precipitation conditions. For my PhD, I am developing a formal inverse approach to reconstruct climate from such terrestrial records. My ultimate goal is to show that glacier mass balance, and thus the spatially variable equilibrium line altitudes, can be constrained very efficiently. This will allow me to investigate interactions between glacial erosion and climate at the scale of mountain ranges and provide us with information on past continental climate.

I am mainly developing ice flow models that are solved numerically using finite difference methods. To solve at high resolution and for computational efficiency, the codes are significantly accelerated using Graphic Processing Units (GPU). I am currently applying the newly developed method to ice extents of the European Alps, South Island of New Zealand, and the Patagonian Andes. Ultimately, we will investigate whether mountain scale erosion patterns are driven by climate or tectonics.


BSc in Geophysics, University of Zagreb, 2010

MSc in Physics and Geophysics, University of Zagreb, 2013

Publications and conference presentations:


Glacial erosion, Glacier climate interaction, Glacier modeling, Glacier mass balance, Equilibrium line altitude, GPU