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Plane ice-sheet flow with evolving orthotropic fabric

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A plane, gravity-driven, steady flow of an isothermal ice sheet over a horizontal bedrock, with no-slip basal conditions, is considered. The ice is modelled as a linearly viscous, incompressible and anisotropic fluid, with evolving orthotropic fabric that depends on local strain rates and deformations. For a fixed, free-surface elevation, the ice-accumulation rates necessary to maintain the prescribed geometry are calculated by using the finite-element method, together with the velocities and stresses. Numerical simulations have been carried out for different combinations of enhancement factors for compression and shear in order to investigate their effect on the rate of flow. The results obtained have shown that, apart from the near-divide region, the global flow rate is nearly proportional to the magnitude of the shear-enhancement factor and is very little sensitive to the value of the compression enhancement factor. Normalized velocity–depth profiles have been compared for the anisotropic and isotropic ice and it has been found that significant differences occur only in a region near the ice divide. Direct shear stresses are little affected by the ice anisotropy, but the longitudinal deviatoric stresses in a part of the ice sheet are significantly increased compared to the isotropic ice flow.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756400781820570

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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