Depth-Varying Constitutive Properties Observed in an Isothermal Glacier
journal contributionposted on 14.12.2002, 00:00 by H. P. Marshall, J. T. Harper, W. T. Pfeffer, Neil Humphrey
Detailed three-dimensional in-situ measurements of deformation at depth are used to examine the rheology of a 6 x 106 m3 block of temperate glacier ice. Assuming that the viscosity of this ice is primarily dependent on stress, the relationship between inferred stress and measurements of strain-rate above similar to 115 m depth suggest a constitutive relationship with a stress exponent n similar to 1. Deformation below 115 m is described by a non-linear flow law with a power exponent of approximately 3-4. A sharp transition between the two flow regimes is likely caused by a change in the dominant mechanism from superplastic flow, basal slip, and/or diffusional flow near the surface to dislocation and intragranular deformation at depth.