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A description of crevasse formation using continuum damage mechanics

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Continuum damage mechanics describes the progressive deterioration of material subjected to loading. Jointly used with a level-set method, it proves to be a promising approach to computing the interface motion of a damaged material. For polycrystalline ice, a local isotropic damage evolution law (generalized Kachanow's law) applied to Glen's flow law allows the description of tertiary creep and facilitates the modeling of crevasse opening using a failure criterion based on damage accumulation. The use of a level-set method permits the description, in a continuum approach, of the motion of a fractured glacier surface. Using these methods, a model is developed. The ability of this model to describe phenomena connected to crevasse opening is presented. The rupture of a large ice block from a hanging glacier is computed and analyzed. The regular acceleration of such an unstable ice block prior to its collapse is calculated and compared to the acceleration function obtained from observations. A good agreement between the two acceleration functions was found.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-06-01

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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