Dr Anthony Purcell

Research Fellow
Co-facilitator Ice and Climate Frontier Research Theme
Researcher - Earth Dynamics
J3, 160
 +61 4 11761169



BSc(Hons), PhD(Geophysics)


Dr Purcell completed a Bachelor of Science (with honours) in mathematics in 1990 on "Elementary Techniques for Determining the Conductivity of the Earth's Interior" and his PhD in geophysics in 1997 on "High-resolution Modelling of Post-glacial Rebound and Sea-level Change". He has been a Research Fellow at the Australian National University in the geodynamics group since 2010.


Research interests

Dr Purcell's research interests include:

Glacio-isostatic adjustment and sea level change

Analysis of satellite and geomorphological data to constrain sea level rise and the response of the major ice sheets to changes in climate forcing

Improving the accuracy of GRACE analysis procedures.


Dr Purcell has taught mathematics at post- and under-graduate level and English at secondary school level (and in Japan as a second language course).


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1) Purcell, A. 1997. The significance of pre-stress advection and internal buoyancy in the flat-earth formulation. Dynamics of the Ice Age Earth: A Modern Perspective (ed. Wu, P.), Trans Tech Publications

2) Kennett, B. and Purcell, A., 1997. The SNIPER project - Suppression of seismic multiples with the development of modelling techniques, and interpretation of multiple problems for a complex land survey, BHP Petroleum

3) Lambeck, K., Yokoyama, Y., Johnston, P. and Purcell, A. 2000. Global ice volumes at the Last Glacial Maximum. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 181, 513-527

4) Shennan, I., Lambeck, K., Horton, B.P., Innes, J.B., Lloyd, J.M., McArthur, J.J., Purcell, A. and Rutherford, M.M., 2000. Late Devensian and Holocene records of relative sea-level changes in northwest Scotland and their implications for glacio-hydro-isostatic modelling. Quat. Sci. Revs, 191103-1135.

5) Lambeck, K., Yokoyama, Y., Johnston, P., and Purcell, A. 2001. Corrigendum to global ice volumes at the Last Glacial maximum and early Late-glacial” Earth Planet Sci. Lett., 190, 275.

6) Yokoyama, Y., Purcell, A., Lambeck, K. and Johnston, P. 2001. Shoreline reconstruction around Australia during the Last Glacial maximum and Late Glacial States. Quaternary International , 83-85, 9-18

7) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., 2001. Sea-Level Change in the Irish Sea since the Last Glacial Maximum: Constraints from isostatic modelling. J. Quat. Sci. 16, 497-506

8) Lambeck, K., Yokoyama, Y., & Purcell, A. 2002. Into and Out of the Last glacial Maximum Sea Level Change During Oxygen Isotope Stages 3-2.Quaternary Science Reviews, 21, 343-360

9) Lambeck, K., Yokoyama, Y. Purcell, A. 2002. Reply to the Comment by W.R. Peltier. Quaternary Science Reviews, 21, 415-418

10) Lambeck, K. and Purcell, A., 2002. Stress state of the Norwegian margin during glacial and tectonic cycles. Geological Institute, University of Bergen

11) Lambeck, K. and Purcell, A., 2003. Glacial Rebound and Crustal Stress in Finland. Posiva 2003-10

12) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Johnston, P., Nakada, M. and Yokoyama, Y. 2003. Water-load definition in the glacio-hydro-isostatic sea-level equation. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 309–318

13) Lambeck, K., Antonioli, F., Purcell, A. and Silenzi, S., 2004. Sea-level change along the Italian coast for the past 10,000 yr. Quaternary Science Reviews 23, 1567-1598

14) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A. 2005. Sea-level change in the Mediterranean Sea since the LGM: model predictions for tectonically stable areas. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24, 1969-1988

15) Uehara, K., Scourse, J. D., Horsbrough, K. J., Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., 2006. Tidal evolutions of the northwest European shelf seas from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present. J. Geophys. Res,: C Oceans, 111(9), Art. No. C09025

16) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Funder, S., Kjær, K., Larsen, E., Möller, P., 2006. Constraints on the Late Saalian to early Middle Weichselian ice sheet of Eurasia from field data and rebound modelling. Boreas, 35(3), 539-575

17) Yokoyama, Y., Purcell, A., Marshall , J.F., Lambeck, K., 2006. Sea-level during the early deglaciation period in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Global and Planetary Change, 53(1-2), 147-153

18) Lambeck, K., Sivan, D., Purcell, A. 2007. Timing of the last Mediterranean Sea - Black Sea connection from isostatic models and regional sea-level data. In The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate and Human Settlement (Eds Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S. & Panin, N.), pp797- 808. Springer, Heidelber

19) Lambeck, K. and Purcell, A., 2007. Palaeogeographic reconstructions of the Aegean for the past 20,000 years: Was Atlantis on Athens’ doorstep? In The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land, (S. P. Papamarinopoulos, Ed.), Heliotopos Publications, 241-257

20) Simms, A.R., Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Anderson, J.B. and Rodriguez, A.B., 2007. Sea-level history of the Gulf of Mexico since the Last Glacial Maximum with implications for the melting history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26(7-8), 920-940.

21) Blum, M.D., Tomkin, J.H., Purcell, A., Lancaster, R., 2008. Ups and downs of the Mississippi delta.Geology, 36, 675-678, 2008.

22) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Zhao, J. and Svensson, N-O., 2010. The Scandinavian Ice Sheet: from MIS 4 to the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. Boreas, 39(2), 410-435

23) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Dutton, A. (2011) The anatomy of interglacial sea levels: The relationship between sea levels and ice volumes during the Last Interglacial. , 315-316,

24) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Flemming, N. C., Vita-Finzie, C., Alsharekh, A. M., Bailey, G. N. (2011) Sea level and shoreline reconstructions for the Red Sea: isostatic and tectonic considerations and implications for hominin migration out of Africa, Quaternary Science Review, 25-26, 3542-3574

25) Purcell, A., Dehecq, A., Tregoning, P., Potter, E-K., McClusky, S.C., Lambeck, K. (2011) Relationship between glacial isostatic adjustment and gravity perturbations observed by GRACE, Geophysical research Letters, 38, L18305, 5 PP., 2011 doi:10.1029/2011GL048624

26) Fleming, K.M., P. Tregoning, M. Kuhn, A. Purcell and H.McQueen, 2012. The effect of melting land- based ice masses on sea level around the Australian continent. Austr. J. Earth Sci., 59 (4), 457-468

27) Simms, A. R., Anderson, J. B., DeWitt, R., Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., 2013. Quantifying rates of coastal subsidence since the last interglacial and the role of sediment loading. Global and Planetary Change, 111 (296-308)

28) Reeves, J. M., Bostock, H. C., Ayliffe, L. A., Barrows, T. T., De Dekker, P., Devriendt, L. S., Dunbar, G. B., Drysdale, R. N., Fitzsimmons, K. E., Gagan, M. K., Griffiths, M. L., Haberle, S. G., Jansen, J. D., Krause, C., Lewis, S., Mcgregor, H. V., Mooney, S. D., Moss, P., Nanson, G. C., Purcell, A., Van Der Kaars, S., 2012. Palaeoenvironmental change in tropical Australasia over the last 30,000 years e a synthesis by the OZ-INTIMATE group. Quat. Sci. Rev., 74 (97-114)

29) Darbaheshti, N., Zhou, L., Tregoning, P., McClusky, S., Purcell, A., 2013. The ANU GRACE visualisation web portal. Computers & Geosciences, 52 (227-233)

30) Lambeck, K., Rouby, H., Purcell, A., Yu, S., Sambridge, M., 2014 Sea Level and global ice volumes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene. PNAS, 111 (15296-15303)

31) Nakada, M., Okuno, J., Lambeck, K. and Purcell, A.,, 2015. Viscosity structure of Earth’s mantle inferred from rotational variations due to GIA process and recent metlting events. Geophys. J. Int. 202(2)

32) Gowan, E., Tregoning, P., Purcell, A., Lea, J., Fransner, O-J., Noormets, R., and Dowdeswell, J.A., 2016. ICESHEET 1.0: A program to produce paleo-ice sheet models with minimal assumptions. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions

33) Gowan, E., Tregoning, P., Purcell, A., Montillet, JP., and McClusky, S., 2016. A model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet, using observations of glacial isostatic adjustmentQuaternary Science Reviews 139, 1-16

34) Purcell, A., Tregoning, P., and Dehecq, A., 2016. An assessment of the ICE6G_C(VM5a) glacial isostatic model. Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/2015JB012742.

35) Kallenberg, B., Tregoning, P., Hoffmann, J. F., Hawkins, R., Purcell, A., and Allgeyer, S, 2017: A new approach to estimate ice dynamic rates using satellite observations in East Antarctica, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-269.

36) Lambeck, K., Purcell, A., Zhao, S, 2017. The North American Late Wisconsin ice sheet and mantle viscosity from glacial rebound analyses. Quat. Sci. Rev. (158) 172-210. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.033

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