On the rheology of till
Abstract:The deformation of subglacial till is instrumental in causing certain glacier surges, the motion of rapid ice streams in ice sheets, and ice-sheet surges which are associated with Heinrich events, and consequent rapid climatic shifts, during the last ice age. It may also be the means whereby drumlins are formed, and these in turn may act as a brake on large-scale ice flow. It is therefore important in building models to understand the rate at which till deforms, and how this controls the basal ice velocity. In recent years, two paradigms have emerged. On the one hand, theoreticians have tended to use a viscous rheology, though this lacks quantitative support. On the other hand, field and laboratory studies suggest that till behaves plastically. In this paper I will examine some of the dynamic consequences of this latter assumption, and show how the dichotomy between viscous and plastic may be less clear-cut than previously thought.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-06-01
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