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The "Galloping Glacier" trots: decadal-scale speed oscillations within the quiescent phase

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A 28 year record of annual surface speeds has revealed oscillations with a period of roughly 12 years during the quiescent phase of Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, U.S.A., the original "Galloping Glacier". These oscillations are hypothesized to be the manifestation of slowly propagating waves of till failure and till healing, with at least the second cycle being initiated by the anomalous advance of a tributary glacier. Observations support the idea that such dynamics may have occurred, but are not conclusive. In the conceptual model describing the mechanisms of till failure and healing, temporal variations in longitudinal stress gradients are proposed to be more important in causing till failure than temporal variations in effective pressure.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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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