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School of Geography

Professor Jaap JM van der Meer, MSc, PhD, University of Amsterdam

Jaap JM

Emeritus Professor of Physical Geography



Research Interests:

Research areas: glacial dynamics, sedimentology, Arctic, Antarctic

Glacial processes and resulting landforms and sediments are the focus of my research. On the general level I study sediment transfer and (temporal) storage in the glacial system: from the ice divide to the shelf edge. Within this wide field I concentrate on two elements: the first one is the study of dynamic structures, e.g. glaciotectonics and streamlined landforms and the second one is the micromorphological (thin section) study of glacial sediments. The rationale for my studies is the need to understand the response of Pleistocene ice masses to environmental change, as a key to future developments. Because the answer to a number of problems in reconstructing Pleistocene ice masses and their dynamics is to be found in shelf seas like the North Sea, I collaborate in shallow marine research.


  • Till micromorphology
  • Ice marginal studies
  • Glaciation of Antarctica, its nature and history
  • Till sedimentology and streamlined bedforms
  • Glaciotectonics
  • Translation of Gripp's 'Glaciological and geological results of the Hamburg Spitsbergen-Expedition of 1927'
  • De Geer Archive



  • J.J.M. van der Meer (ed) 2004 Spitsbergen push moraines. Including translation of: K. Gripp ‘Glaciological and geological results of the Hamburg Spitsbergen-Expedition of 1927'. Elsevier, Amsterdam; Developments in Quaternary Science 4, 200 pp.
  • P.J. Barrett, M.G. Laird & J.J.M. van der Meer (eds) 2001 Studies from the Cape Roberts Project, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Scientific results of CRP-3; Sedimentology section. Terra Antartica 8 (3-4), 121-620
  • M. Hambrey & J.J.M. van der Meer (eds) 2000 CRP-2/2A Science Report. sedimentology section; special issue of Terra Antartica 7 (3-4/5), 211- 654


  • Benediktsson, Í.Ö., Möller, P., Ingólfsson, Ó., Meer, J.J.M. van der, Kjær, K.H., Krüger, J. The terminal moraine and ice-marginal processes of the 1890 glacier surge of Brúarjökull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews
    doi 10.1016/j.quascirev.2007.10.007
  • Kilfeather, A.A. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2007 Pore size, shape and connectivity in tills and their relationship to deformation processes. Quaternary Science Reviews.
    doi 10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.12.015
  • Kilfeather, A.A., Blackford, J.J. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2007 Micromorphological analysis of coastal sediments from Willapa Bay, Washington, USA: a technique for analysing inferred tsunami deposits. Pure and Applied Geophysics 164, 509-525
  • Payne, R.J., Kilfeather, A.A., Meer, J.J.M. van der & Blackford, J.J. 2006 Experiments on the taphonomy of tephra in peat. Suo 56, 147-156
  • Carr, S.J., Holmes, R, Meer, J.J.M. van der & Rose, J. 2006 The last glacial maximum in the North Sea Basin. Journal of Quaternary Science 21, 131-153
  • Menzies, J., Meer, J.J.M. van der & Rose, J. 2006 Till – as a glacial “tectomict”, its internal architecture, and the development of a “typing” method for till differentiation. Binghamton Symposium 2003, Geomorphology 75, 172-200
  • Kjær, K.H., Larsen, E. & Meer, J.J.M. van der, Ingólfsson, Ó. Krüger, J., Benediktsson, Í.Ö., Knudsen, C.G. & Schomacker, A. 2006 Subglacial decoupling at the sediment-bedrock interface – an essential mechanism for rapid ice flow. Quaternary Science Reviews 25, 2704-2712
  • Hiemstra, J.F., Rijsdijk, K.F., Evans, D.J.A. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2005 Integrated micro- and macro-scale analyses of Last Glacial Maximum Irish Sea diamicts from Abermawr and Traeth y Mwnt, Wales, U.K. Boreas 34, 61-74
  • Stroeven, A., Stroeven, P. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2005 Microfabric analysis by manual and automated stereological procedures: a methodological approach applied to Antarctic tillite. Sedimentology 52, 219-233
  • Blackford, J.J., Kilfeather, A.A., Meer, J. van der & Atwater, B.F. 2005 Micromorphological analysis of inferred tsunami deposits: a diagnostic technique ? In: G.A. Papadopoulos & K. Satake (eds) Proceedings of the 22nd International Tsunami Symposium, Chania, Greece, 39-42
  • Zaniewski, K. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2005 Quantification of birefringence through image analyses. Catena 63, 109-127
  • Laban, C. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2004 The Netherlands. In: J. Ehlers & Ph. Gibbard (eds) Quaternary glaciations – extent and chronology, Part 1: Europe. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Developments in Quaternary Science 2a, 251-260
  • Kjær, K., Krüger, J. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2003 What causes till thickness to change over distance? Answers from Mørdalsjökull, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 1687-1700
  • Meer, J.J.M. van der, Menzies, J. & Rose, J. 2003 Subglacial till: the deforming glacier bed. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 1659-1685
  • Bakker, M.A.J. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2003 Structure of a Pleistocene push moraine revealed by ground-penetrating radar (GPR): the eastern Veluwe ridge, the Netherlands. In: C. S. Bristow & H. M. Jol (eds) Ground penetrating radar: Applications in Sedimentology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 211, 139-147
  • Warren, W.P., Smyth, M., Meer, J.J.M. van der & Hammond, R.F. 2002 Geology. In: M.G.C. Schouten (ed) Conservation and restoration of raised bogs; geological, hydrological and ecological studies. Dúchas; Staatsbosbeheer; Geological Survey of Ireland, 16-31
  • Stroeven, A.P., Meer, J.J.M. van der, Stroeven, P., Dalhuisen, D.H. , Hiemstra, J.F. & Stroeven, M. 2002 Improved microfabric determination using stereological analysis:Orientation direction of sand particles in Mount Feather Sirius Group tillite, Antarctica. In: J.A. Gamble, D.N.B. Skinner & S. Henrys (eds) Antarctica at the close of a millennium. Proceedings of the VIII International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences. Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 35, 327-334
  • Krüger, J., Kjær, K. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2002 From push moraine to single-crested dump moraine during a sustained glacier advance. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift 56, 87-95
  • Davey, F.J., Barrett, P.J., Cita, M.B., Meer, J.J.M. van der, Tessensohn, F., Thomson, M.R.A., Webb, P.-N. & Woolfe, K.J. 2001 Cape Roberts Project drills for Antarctic Cenozoic climate and tectonic history EOS 82, 585, 589-590
  • Powell, R.D., Laird, M.G., Naish, T.R., Fielding, C.R., Krissek, L.A. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2001 Depositional environments for strata cored in CRP-3 (Cape Roberts Project), Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica: palaeoglaciological and palaeoclimatological inferences. Terra Antartica 8, 207-216
  • Wilson, G.S., Barron, J.A., Ashworth, A.C., Askin, R.A., Carter, J.A., Curren, M.G., Dalhuisen, D.H., Friedmann, E.I., Fyodorov-Davidov, D.G., Gilichinsky, D.A., Harper, M.A., Harwood, D.M., Hiemstra, J.F., Janececk, T.H., Licht, K.J., Ostroumov, V.E., Powell, R.D., Rivkina, E.M., Rose, S.A., Stroeven, A.P., Stroeven, P., van der Meer, J.J.M. & Wizevich, M.C. 2001 The Mount Feather Diamicton of the Sirius Group: an accumulation of indicators of Neogene Antarctic glacial and climatic history. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 182, 117-131
  • Krüger, J., Kjær, K. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2002 From push moraine to single-crested dump moraine during a sustained glacier advance. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift 56, 87-95
  • T.R. Naish, K.J. Woolfe, P.J. Barrett, ......., J.J.M. van der Meer, ......, Th. Wonik 2001 Orbitally induced oscillations in the East Antarctic ice sheet at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. Nature 413, 719-723
  • J.J.M. van der Meer 2000 Microscopic observations on the first 300 metres of CRP-2/2A. Terra Antartica 7, 39-348
  • R.D. Powell, L.A. Krissek & J.J.M. van der Meer 2000 Preliminary depositional environmental analysis of Cape Roberts 2/2A drill core, Antarctica: Palaeoglaciological and palaeoclimatic inferences. Terra Antartica 7, 313-322


  • Kilfeather, A. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2007 Thin section sample report for the Medway Valley Palaeolithic Project. Dept. of Geography, QMUL, report 14 pp.
  • Meer, J.J.M. van der, J. Rose & J. Menzies 2005 MSc course on the micromorphology of glacial sediments. Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London, 85 pp.
  • Kilfeather, A. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2003 A close up look at sediments in the Amsterdam Terminal core. Report to NITG-TNO; Dept. of Geography, QMUL, 40 pp.
  • Lloyd Davies, M. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2002 Allan Hills, Mount Feather and Blood Falls, Taylor Valley, Antarctica-field report, 2001-2002. ICG Rapporten 02/3, 87 pp.
  • Meer, J.J.M. van der & Kilfeather, A. 2001 Fieldreport Myrdallsjsökull 2001, London participation. Dept. of Geography, QMUL Report, 25 pp.
  • Lloyd Davies, M. & Meer, J.J.M. van der 2002 Allan Hills, Mount Feather and Blood Falls, Taylor Valley, Antarctica field-report, 2001-2002. ICG Rapporten 02/3, 87 pp.
  • M. Lloyd Davies & J.J.M. van der Meer 2001 Neogene glacial history of the Allan Hills, South Victoria Land, Antarctica - Field Report 1999-2000. ICG Rapporten 2001-4, 115 pp.


  • B. Stonehouse (ed) Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans. John Wiley, Chichester, 2002. IN: Journal of Quaternary Science 19, 2004, 836
  • D.J.A. Evans (ed) Glacial landsystems. Arnold, London, 2003. IN: Journal of Quaternary Science 19, 2004, 316-317
  • McClenaghan, M.B., Bobrowsky, P.T., Hall, G.E.M. & Cook, S.J. (eds) Drift exploration in glaciated terrain. The Geological Society, Bath; Special Publication 185, 2001. IN: Journal of Quaternary Science 19, 2004, 100
  • J.J.M. van der Meer, G. Kaser & H. Osmaston. Tropical glaciers. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2002. IN: Journal of Quaternary Science 19, 2003, 581
  • J.J.M. van der Meer, M.Nakawo, C.F. Raymond & A. Fountain (eds) Debris-covered glaciers. IAHS Publication no. 264, 2000. IN: Journal of Quaternary Science 18, 2002, 804-805
  • N.C. Brady & R.R. Weil. 2000 The nature and properties of soils. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, 1999. IN: Sedimentology 47, 2000, 1230

Since 1993 regular International Workshops on the Micromoprhology of Glacial Sediments are organised. The courses have been set up specifically to train PhD students and young researchers to learn this technique. Derived from these one-week courses shorter (weekend) courses have also been held.

  • First Technical Workshop on the Micromorphology of Glacial Deposits, Amsterdam, September 1993. Conveners J.J.M. van der Meer. J. Rose, J. Menzies & H. Mücher
  • Second Workshop, Brock University, Canada, June 1997. Conveners J. Menzies, J.J.M. van der Meer & J. Rose
  • One-day Micromorphology Workshop on Glacial Debris Transport and Deposition: Processes and Products held for the QRA, Leeds in January 1998 with F.M. van der Wateren
  • Third Workshop on the Micromorphology of Glacial Deposits, London (Royal Holloway), February 2000. Conveners J. Rose, E. Derbyshire, J.J.M. van der Meer & J. Menzies
  • Fourth Workshop on the Micromorphology of Glacial Deposits, Tübingen, Germany, April 2001. Conveners J.J.M. van der Meer, J. Menzies, J. Rose & B. Terhorst
  • Fifth Workshop on the Micromorphology of Glacial Deposits, London (Queen Mary & Royal Holloway), May 2005. Conveners J.J.M. van der Meer , J. Rose & J. Menzies.
  • Meer, J.J.M. van der, Menzies, J., Rose, J., Maddison, E. & Domack, G. 2006 Handbook Sixth International Workshop on the Micromorphology of Glacial Sediments. Department of Geosciences, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, USA in June 2006

Series Editor for Developments in Quaternary Science, published by Elsevier

Developments in Quaternary Science is a book series designed to bring together important texts within the continually expanding field of Quaternary science.

This series is linked to the journals: Quaternary Science Reviews, Quaternary Research and Quaternary International, and provides an outlet for texts that require individual or special consideration, not achieved most effectively within an academic journal. In this respect the series will provide an outlet for topics that require substantial space, are linked to major scientific events, require special production facilities (i.e. use of interactive electronic methods), or are archival in character. The subjects covered by the series will include a range of processes and palaeo-responses within the fields of geology, biology, geography, climatology, archaeology and geochronology and particular consideration will be given to issues such as the Quaternary development of specific regions, comprehensive treatments of specific topics such as global scale consideration of patterns of glaciation, and compendia on timely topics such as dating methodologies, environmental hazards and rapid climate changes.

The series will provide an outlet for scientists who wish to achieve a substantial treatment of major scientific concerns and a venue for those seeking the authority provided by such an approach.

For information on how to submit your book proposal, please contact Jaap van der Meer at or Tirza van Daalen(senior publishing editor) at

Member of the editorial board of leading journals in Quaternary science:
Journal of Quaternary Science

Quaternary Science Reviews


Terra Antartica

For PhD projects click here

For the Centre for Micromorphology UL website click here.

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