Ice-sheet flow conditions deduced from mechanical tests of ice core
Abstract:Uniaxial compression tests were performed on samples of the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) deep ice core, both in the field and later in a cold-room laboratory, in order to understand the ice-flow behavior of large ice sheets. Experiments were conducted under conditions of constant strain rate (type A) and constant load (type B). Fifty-four uniaxial-compression test specimens from 1327–2922 m were selected. Each test specimen (25 mm × 25 mm × 90 mm) was prepared with its uniaxial stress axis inclined 45° from the core axis in order to examine the flow behavior of strong single-maximum ice-core samples with basal planes parallel to the horizontal plane of the ice sheet. The ice-flow enhancement factors show a gradual increase with depth down to approximately 2000 m. These results can be interpreted in terms of an increase in the fourth-order Schmid factor. Below 2000 m depth, the flow-enhancement factor increases to about 20–30 with a relatively high variability. When the Schmid factor was > 0.46, the enhancement factor obtained was higher than expected from the c-axis concentrations measured. The higher values of flow-enhancement factor were obtained from specimens with a cloudy band structure. It was revealed that cloudy bands affect ice-deformation processes, but the details remain unclear.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 1999
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