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Structural glaciology of the fast-moving Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, compared to the surging Bering Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A.

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Crevasse patterns revealing mostly brittle deformation on glacier surfaces are analyzed based on video images collected during systematic overflights of Jakobshavn Isbræ, West Greenland, the Earth's continuously fastest moving ice stream, in 1996 and 1997. Crevasse patterns on the surface of the central ice stream are distinct. All crevasses are closed, the surface appears rather smooth. Towards the margins, typical shear patterns with conjugate shears and still-closed crevasses prevail, curved patterns indicate the bending of crevasse lines into the flow direction. Outward from this zone different patterns of open crevasses occur. This suite of patterns is compared to similar data collected over Bering Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A., during its recent surge from 1993–95. There a number of patterns of mostly open crevasses is characteristic: parallel crevasses, two-directional orthogonal open crevasses, arrays of wavy crevasses, en-échelon crevasses. These patterns of the surging glacier are completely different from those of the fast-moving ice stream indicating different underlying kinematics and dynamics.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • 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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