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Influence of geometrical boundary conditions on the estimation of rheological parameters

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Improved knowledge of geometrical boundary conditions, such as bed-rock geometry and surface topography, can contribute significantly to glaciological studies including ice-sheet-flow modelling. Precise thickness and altimetric data allow an estimation of ice-flow direction, the balance velocity and the basal shear stress. These parameters are calculated along a 1160 km profile in East Antarctica using a relationship between shear stress, basal temperature, the Glen flow exponent and a parameter related to strain rate. Strong variations of the flow-law parameters and basal conditions are found to play a major role in the ice-flow pattern. Sliding, anisotropy and longitudinal stress strongly perturb the validity of the law, but their signature can be identified.

Document Type: Research Article


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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