Frank O Nitsche

Frank O. Nitsche received a MS in geophysics from the University of Kiel, Germany and a Ph.D. from the University of Bremen, Germany. Between 1997 and 2001 he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Geophysics Group at the ETH Zurich. In 2001 he came to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University where he started as a postdoctoral researcher and is now a research scientist. There he studies sediment processes and morphological conditions of the Hudson River Estuary and the Long Island Sound. In addition, he investigates the morphology of the Antarctic continental margin and is reconstructing the path of past ice streams and related sediment transport processes. His research uses mostly acoustic mapping techniques and data integration through GIS to understand sediment transport, deposition and related processes that shape continental margins from estuaries to the deep sea. In addition he is a data manager for the USAP Data Center since 2016.

Fields of Interest

Seafloor mapping, benthic habitat mapping, glacial and glacial-marine sediment processes, estuarine and coastal sediment dynamic and transport, continental margins, GIS, data integration and visualization,


  • 2001-2004 Postdoctoral Scientist, Marine Geology and Geophysics (LDEO Columbia University) 
  • 1997-2001 Postdoctoral Scientist, Applied Geophysics (ETH Zurich) 
  • 1997 Ph.D. Marine Geology and Geophysics (University of Bremen, Germany) 
  • 1994 Diplom in Geophysics (University of Kiel, Germany)

Nitsche, F.O., Correia, R., 2019. East Antarctic ice flow dynamic based on subglacial landforms near Dibble Glacier. Marine Geology 417, 106007.

Kirkham, J.D., Hogan, K.A., Larter, R.D., Arnold, N.S., Nitsche, F.O., Golledge, N.R., Dowdeswell, J.A., 2019. Past water flow beneath Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica. The Cryosphere 13, 1959–1981. doi: 10.5194/tc-13-1959-2019

Bohoyo, F., R. D. Larter, J. Galindo-Zaldívar, P. T. Leat, A. Maldonado, A. J. Tate, M. M. Flexas, E. J. M. Gowland, J. E. Arndt, B. Dorschel, Y. D. Kim, J. K. Hong, J. López-Martínez, A. Maestro, O. Bermúdez, F. O. Nitsche, R. A. Livermore & T. R. Riley (2018). Morphological and geological features of Drake Passage, Antarctica, from a new digital bathymetric model, Journal of Maps, doi: 10.1080/17445647.2018.1543618.

Bart, P.J., Anderson, J.B., Nitsche, F.O., 2017. Post-LGM Grounding-Line Positions of the Bindschadler Paleo Ice Stream in the Ross Sea Embayment, Antarctica: Post-LGM Grounding-Line Positions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. , 122(10), p. 1827-1844. doi:10.1002/2017JF004259.

Nitsche, F.O., Porter, D., Williams, G., Cougnon, E.A., Fraser, A.D., Correia, R., Guerrero, R., 2017. Bathymetric control of warm ocean water access along the East Antarctic Margin. Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 2017GL074433. doi:10.1002/2017GL074433D.

Davies, D., Bingham, R.G., Graham, A.G.C., Spagnolo, M., Dutrieux, P., Vaughan, D.G., Jenkins, A., Nitsche, F.O., 2017. High-resolution sub-ice-shelf seafloor records of twentieth century ungrounding and retreat of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica. J. of Geophys. Res.: Earth Surface 122, 1698–1714. doi:10.1002/2017JF004311.

Klages, J.P., Kuhn, G., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Smith, J.A., Graham, A.G.C., Nitsche, F.O., Frederichs, T., Jernas, P.E., Gohl, K., Wacker, L., 2017. Limited grounding-line advance onto the West Antarctic continental shelf in the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment during the last glacial period. PLOS ONE 12, e0181593. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0181593.

Kuhn, G., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Kasten, S., Smith, J. A., Nitsche, F. O., Frederichs, T., Wiers, S., Ehrmann, W., Klages, J. P., Mogollón, J. M., (2017). Evidence for a palaeo-subglacial lake on the Antarctic continental shelf. Nature Communications, 8, 15591. doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS15591.

Williams, G. D., A.D. Fraser, A. Lucieer, D. Turner, E. Cougnon, P. Kimball, T. Toyota, T. Maksym, H. Singh, F. Nitsche, and M. Paget (2016), Drones in a cold climate, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO043673. Published on 19 January 2016.

Nitsche, F.O.; Larter, R D; Gohl, K.; Graham, A G C; Kuhn, G. (2016). Bedrock Channels in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica. In: Dowdeswell, J A; Canals, M; Jakobsson, M, Todd, B J, Dodeswell, E K; and Hogan, K A (eds) Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geol. Soc. Lon. Mem., 46, 217-218. Doi: 10.1144/M46.1. 

Nitsche, FO; Larter, R D; Gohl, K.; Graham, A G C; Kuhn, G. (2016). Crag-and-tail features on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, West Antarctica In: Dowdeswell, J A; Canals, M; Jakobsson, M, Todd, B J, Dodeswell, E K; and Hogan, K A (eds) Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient Geol. Soc. Lon. Mem., 46, 199-200. DOI: 10.1144/M46.2. 

Bart, P.J., Nitsche, F.O. (2016). The middle shelf Grounding Zone Wedge in Glomar Challenger Basin, Ross Sea. In: Dowdeswell, J A; Canals, M; Jakobsson, M, Todd, B J, Dodeswell, E K; and Hogan, K A (eds) Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geol. Soc. Lon. Mem., 46, 239-240. The Geological Society of London, 2016. DOI: 10.1144/M46.73.

Graham, A.G.C., Jakobsson, M., Nitsche, F.O., Larter, R.D., Anderson, J.B., Hillenbrand, C.D., Gohl, K., Klages, J. Smith, J.A., Jenkins, A. (2016) Submarine glacial-landform distribution across the West Antarctic margin, from grounding line to slope: the Pine Island-Thwaites ice stream system. In: Dowdeswell, J A; Canals, M; Jakobsson, M, Todd, B J, Dodeswell, E K; and Hogan, K A (eds) Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geol. Soc. Lon. Mem., 46, 493-500. Doi: 10.1144/M46.173.

Graham, A.G.C., Nitsche, F.O., Larter, R.D., Gohl, K. (2016). Submarine landform assemblage produced beneath the Dotson-Getz palaeo-ice stream, West Antarctica. In: Dowdeswell, J A; Canals, M; Jakobsson, M, Todd, B J, Dodeswell, E K; and Hogan, K A (eds) Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. Geol. Soc. Lon. Mem., 46, 345-348. DOI: 10.1144/M46.176.

Williams, GD; AD Fraser; A Lucieer; D Turner; E Cougnon; P Kimball; T Toyota; T Maksym; H Singh; F Nitsche; and M Paget (2016), Drones in a cold climate, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO043673. 

Klages, J.P. G. Kuhn, A.G.C. Graham, C.-D. Hillenbrand, J.A. Smith, F.O. Nitsche, R.D. Larter, K. Gohl, 2015. Palaeo-ice stream pathways and retreat style in the easternmost Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, revealed by combined multibeam bathymetric and seismic data. Geomorphology, 245, 207-222, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.05.020.

Larter, R.D., Anderson, J.B., Graham, A.G.C., Gohl, K., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Jakobsson, M., Johnson, J.S., Kuhn, G., Nitsche, F.O., Smith, J.A., Witus, A.E., Bentley, M.J., Dowdeswell, J.A., Ehrmann, W., Klages, J.P., Lindow, J., Cofaigh, C.Ó. and Spiegel, C., 2014. Reconstruction of changes in the Amundsen Sea and Bellingshausen Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quat. Sci. Rev., 100: 55-86.

Bentley, M.J., Ó Cofaigh, C., Anderson, J.B., Conway, H., Davies, B., Graham, A.G.C., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Hodgson, D.A., Jamieson, S.S.R., Larter, R.D., Mackintosh, A., Smith, J.A., Verleyen, E., Ackert, R.P., Bart, P.J., Berg, S., Brunstein, D., Canals, M., Colhoun, E.A., Crosta, X., Dickens, W.A., Domack, E., Dowdeswell, J.A., Dunbar, R., Ehrmann, W., Evans, J., Favier, V., Fink, D., Fogwill, C.J., Glasser, N.F., Gohl, K., Golledge, N.R., Goodwin, I., Gore, D.B., Greenwood, S.L., Hall, B.L., Hall, K., Hedding, D.W., Hein, A.S., Hocking, E.P., Jakobsson, M., Johnson, J.S., Jomelli, V., Jones, R.S., Klages, J.P., Kristoffersen, Y., Kuhn, G., Leventer, A., Licht, K., Lilly, K., Lindow, J., Livingstone, S.J., Massé, G., McGlone, M.S., McKay, R.M., Melles, M., Miura, H., Mulvaney, R., Nel, W., Nitsche, F.O., O'Brien, P.E., Post, A.L., Roberts, S.J., Saunders, K.M., Selkirk, P.M., Simms, A.R., Spiegel, C., Stolldorf, T.D., Sugden, D.E., van der Putten, N., van Ommen, T., Verfaillie, D., Vyverman, W., Wagner, B., White, D.A., Witus, A.E. and Zwartz, D., 2014. A community-based geological reconstruction of Antarctic Ice Sheet deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews, 100: 1-9.

Jacobs, S., C. Giulivi, P. Dutrieux, E. Rignot, F. Nitsche, and J. Mouginot (2013), Getz Ice Shelf melting response to changes in ocean forcing, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 118, 4152–4168, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20298.

Gohl, K., Uenzelmann-Neben, G., Larter, R.D., Hillenbrand, C.D., Hochmuth, K., Kalberg, T., Weigelt, E., Davy, B., Kuhn, G., Nitsche, F.O. (2013). Sedimentary processes of the Amundsen Sea Embayment shelf, West Antarctica, from pre-glacial to recent times. Marine Geology, 344 (1), p. 115–131. DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2013.06.011

Graham, A. Graham, Dutrieux, P., Vaughan, D.G., Nitsche, F.O., Gyllencreutz, R., Greenwood, S.L., Larter, R.D., Jenkins, A., 2013. Implications for the history of Pine Island Glacier from sea-bed corrugations beneath its ice shelf. J. Geophys. Res., 118,1356-1366. doi: 10.1002/jgrf.20087.

Arndt, J.E., Schenke, H.W., Jakobsson, M., Nitsche, F.O., Buys, G., Goleby, B, Rebesco, M., Bohoyo, F., Hong, J., Black, J., Greku, R., Udintsev, G., Barrios, F., Reynoso-Peralta, W., Taisei, M., Wigley, R. 2013. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Version 1.0 – A new bathymetric compilation covering circum-Antarctic waters. Geophy. Res. Let., 40 (1-7), doi: 10.1002/grl.50413.

Nitsche, F. O., Gohl, K., Larter, R., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Kuhn, G., Smith, J., Jacobs, S., Anderson, J., and Jakobsson, M.2013. Paleo ice flow and subglacial meltwater dynamics in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 7, 249–262, doi:10.5194/tc-7-249-2013.
Fretwell, P., Pritchard, H. D., Vaughan, D. G., Bamber, J. L., Barrand, N. E., Bell, R., Bianchi, C., Bingham, R. G., Blankenship, D. D., Casassa, G., Catania, G., Callens, D., Conway, H., Cook, A. J., Corr, H. F. J., Damaske, D., Damm, V., Ferraccioli, F., Forsberg, R., Fujita, S., Gim, Y., Gogineni, P., Griggs, J. A., Hindmarsh, R. C. A., Holmlund, P., Holt, J. W., Jacobel, R. W., Jenkins, A., Jokat, W., Jordan, T., King, E. C., Kohler, J., Krabill, W., Riger-Kusk, M., Langley, K. A., Leitchenkov, G., Leuschen, C., Luyendyk, B. P., Matsuoka, K., Mouginot, J., Nitsche, F. O., Nogi, Y., Nost, O. A., Popov, S. V., Rignot, E., Rippin, D. M., Rivera, A., Roberts, J., Ross, N., Siegert, M. J., Smith, A. M., Steinhage, D., Studinger, M., Sun, B., Tinto, B. K., Welch, B. C., Wilson, D., Young, D. A., Xiangbin, C., and Zirizzotti, A., 2013. Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 7, 375-393, doi:10.5194/tc-7-375-2013.

Nitsche, F.O., Wellner, J.S., Bart, P.J., O’Hara, S. and Gavahan, K., 2012. Seeing the seafloor: Discoveries of the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer multibeam systems. Oceanography, 25: 136–139.

Jacobs, S., Jenkins, A., Hellmer, H., Giulivi, C., Nitsche, F., Huber, B. and Guerrero, R., 2012. The Amundsen Sea and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Oceanography, 25: 154–163.
Kirshner, A. E., J. B. Anderson, M. Jakobsson, M. O’Regan, W. Majewski, F. O. Nitsche, 2012. Post-LGM deglaciation in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews, 38, 11-26.

Jakobsson, M., Anderson, J.B.,Nitsche, F.O., Gyllencreutz, R., Kirshner, A., Kirchner, N., O’Regan, M., Mohammad, R., Eriksson, B., 2012, Ice Sheet Retreat Dynamics Inferred from Glacial Morphology of the Central Pine Island Bay Trough, West Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews, 38, 1-10. 

Jakobsson, M., Anderson, J.B., Nitsche, F.O., Dowdeswell, J.A., Gyllencreutz, R., Kirchner, N., O’Regan, M.A., Alley, R.B., Anandakrishnan, S., Mohammad, R., Eriksson, B., Fernandez, R., Kirshner, A., Minzoni, R., Stolldorf, T., Majewski, W., 2011. Geological record of Ice Shelf Breakup and Grounding Line Retreat, Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica. Geology 39, 691-694.

Graham, A.G.C., Nitsche, F.O., and Larter, R. D., 2011. An improved bathymetry compilation for the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, to inform ice-sheet and ocean models, The Cryosphere, 5, 95-106, doi:10.5194/tc-5-95-2011.

Kenna, T.C., Nitsche, F.O., Herron, M.M., Mailloux, B.J., Peteet, D., Sritrairat, S., Sands, E. and Baumgarten, J., 2011. Evaluation and calibration of a Field Portable X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer for quantitative analysis of siliciclastic soils and sediments. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 26: 395-405.

Nitsche, F.O. Slagle, A., Ryan, W.B.F., Carbotte, S., Bell, R., Flood, R., 2011. Chapter 6 - Human impacts on Hudson River morphology and sediments – a result of changing uses and interests. In: R. Henshaw (ed.), Hudson River environmental history. State University of New York Press, 53-65.

Nitsche, F.O., Kenna, T.C. and Haberman, M., 2010. Quantifying 20th century deposition in complex estuarine environment: An example from the Hudson River. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 89(2): 163-174.

Timmermann, R., Le Brocq, A., Deen, T., Domack, E., Dutrieux, P., Galton-Fenzi, B., Hellmer, H., Humbert, A., Jansen, D., Jenkins, A., Lambrecht, A., Makinson, K., Niederjasper, F., Nitsche, F., Nøst, O.A., Smedsrud, L.H., Smith, W.H.F., 2010. A consistent dataset of Antarctic ice sheet topography, cavity geometry, and global bathymetry. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 2, 261-273. doi:10.5194/essd-2-261-2010

Ryan, W.B.F., Carbotte, S.M., Coplan, J.O., O'Hara, S., Melkonian, A., Arko, R., Weissel, R.A., Ferrini, V., Goodwillie, A., Nitsche, F., Bonczkowski, J. and Zemsky, R., 2009. Global Multi-Resolution Topography synthesis. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10: Q03014.
Nitsche, F.O., Jacobs, S., Larter, R.D. and Gohl, K., 2007. Bathymetry of the Amundsen Sea Continental Shelf: Implications for Geology, Oceanography, and Glaciology. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems,8: Q10009, doi:10.1029/2007GC001694.

Larter, R.D., Gohl, K., Hillenbrand, C.D., Kuhn, G., Deen, T.J., Dietrich, R., Eagles, G., Johnson, J.S., Livermore, R.A., Nitsche, F.O., Pudsey, C.J., Schenke, H.W., Smith, J.A., Udintsev, G. and Uenzelmann-Neben, G., 2007. West Antarctic Ice Sheet Change Since the Last Glacial Period. Eos Trans. AGU, 88(17): 189-196.

Nitsche, F.O., Ryan, W.B.F., Carbotte, S.M., Bell, R.E., Slagle, A., Bertinado, C., Flood, R., Kenna, T. and McHugh, C., 2007. Regional patterns and local variations of sediment distribution in the Hudson River Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 71, 259-277.

Slagle, A.L., Ryan, W.B.F., Carbotte, S.M., Bell, R., Nitsche, F.O. and Kenna, T., 2006. Late-stage estuary infilling controlled by limited accommodation space in the Hudson River. Marine Geology, 232: 181-202.

Strayer, D.L., H.M. Malcom, R.E. Bell, S.M. Carbotte, and F.O. Nitsche, 2006. Using geophysical information to define benthic habitats in a large river. Freshwater Biology, 51: 25-38.

Nitsche, F.O., Bell, R.E., Carbotte, S.M., Ryan, W.B.F., Flood, R.D., Ferrini, V., Slagle, A., McHugh, C.M.G., Chillrud, S., Kenna, T., Strayer, D.L. and Cerrato, R.M., 2005. Integrative acoustic mapping reveals Hudson River sediment processes and habitats. EOS Transactions AGU, 86: 225, 229.

Nitsche, F.O., Carbotte, S., Ryan, W. and Bell, R., 2005. A seabed classification approach based on multiple acoustic sensors in the Hudson River Estuary. In: D.M. FitzGerald and J. Knight (Eds.), High-resolution morphodynamics and sedimentary evolution of estuaries. Coastal Systems and Continental Margins. Springer, Netherlands, pp. 33-55.

Nitsche, F.O., R. Bell, S.M. Carbotte, W.B.F. Ryan, and R. Flood, 2004: Process-related classification of acoustic data from the Hudson River Estuary. Marine Geology, 209, 131-145.

Carbotte, S.M., R.E. Bell, W.B.F. Ryan, C.M.G. McHugh, A. Slagle, F. Nitsche, and J. Rubenstone, 2004: Environmental change and oyster colonization within the Hudson River estuary linked to Holocene climate. Geo-Marine Letters, 24, 212-224.

Spitzer, R., Nitsche, F.O., Green, A.G. and Horstmeyer, H., 2003, Efficient acquisition, processing and interpretation strategy for shallow 3D seismic surveying: A case study. Geophysics, 68, 1792-1806. 

Nitsche, F.O., A.G. Green, H. Horstmeyer and F. Bücker 2002.
Late Quaternary depositional history of the Reuss delta, Switzerland: constrains from high-resolution seismic reflection and georadar surveys. Journal of Quaternary Science, 17, 131-143.

Cunningham, A.P., R.D. Larter, P.F. Barker, K. Gohl, and F.O. Nitsche, 2002.
Multichannel seismic investigation of the Bellingshausen Gravity Anomaly and West Antarctic continental margin near 95°W. In: J.A. Gamble, D.N.B. Skinner and S. Henrys (Editors), Antarctica at the close of a millennium. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 35, pp. 201-205.

Cunningham, A.P., R.D. Larter, P.F. Barker, K. Gohl and F.O. Nitsche, 2002.
Tectonic evolution of the Pacific margin of Antarctica: 2. Structure of Late Cretaceous - Early Tertiary plate boundaries in the Bellingshausen Sea from seismic reflection and gravity data. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(B12), EPM6-1 to EPM 6-20.

Larter, R.D., A.P. Cunningham, P.F. Barker, K. Gohl and F.O. Nitsche, 2002.
Tectonic evolution of the Pacific margin of Antarctica: 1. Late Cretaceous tectonic reconstructions. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(B12), EPM 5-1 to EPM 5-19.

Musil, M., H.R. Maurer, A.G. Green, H. Horstmeyer, F.O. Nitsche, D. Vonder Mühll and S. Springman, 2002.

Shallow seismic surveying of an Alpine rock glacier. Geophysics, 67, 1701-1710.
Nitsche, F.O., Monin, G., Marillier, F., Graf, H. and Ansorge, J., 2001.
Reflection seismic study of Cenozoic sediments in an overdeepened valley of northern Switzerland - the Birrfeld area. Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, 94, 363-371.

Spitzer, R., A.G. Green and F.O. Nitsche, 2001.
Minimizing field operations in shallow 3-D seismic reflection surveying. Geophysics, 66, 1761-1773.

Spitzer, R., F.O. Nitsche and A.G. Green, 2001.
Reducing source-generated noise in shallow seismic data using linear and hyperbolic tau-p transformations. Geophysics, 66, 1612-1621.

Nitsche, F.O., A. Cunningham, R.D. Larter and K. Gohl., 2000.
Sedimentation processes in the Bellingshausen Sea and their variations along the continental margin. Marine Geology, 162, 277-302.

Larter, R.D.,A.P. Cunningham, P.F. Barker, K. Gohl and F.O. Nitsche, 1999.
Structure and tectonic evolution of the West Antarctic continental margin and Bellingshausen Sea, Korean Journal of Polar Research, 10, 125-133.

Nitsche, F.O., K. Gohl, K. Vanneste and H. Miller, 1997. Seismic expression of glacially deposited sequences in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas, West Antarctica. In: P. F. Barker and A. K. Cooper (eds.), Geology and seismic stratigraphy of the Antarctic margin, part 2, Antarctic Research Series, 71. AGU, Washington, D.C., 95-108.

Nitsche, F.O., and K. Gohl, 1997. Sedimentation processes along the Bellingshausen Sea continental margin, Terra Antarctica, 4, 27-28. 

Gohl, K., F.O. Nitsche and H. Miller, 1997.Seismic and gravity data reveal Tertiary interplate subduction in the Bellingshausen Sea, southeast Pacific. Geology, 25, 371-374.

Gohl, K., F.O. Nitsche, K. Vanneste, H. Miller, N. Fechner, L. Oszko, C. Hübscher, E. Weigelt and A. Lambrecht, 1997. Tectonic and sedimentary architecture of the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Sea basins, SE Pacific, by seismic profiling. In: C. A. Ricci (ed.), The Antarctic Region: Geological evolution and processes. Terra Antarctica Publications, Siena, Italy, 719-723.