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Ice fabric evolution process understood from anisotropic distribution of a-axis orientation on the GRIP (Greenland) ice core

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To better understand how ice fabric evolves in polar ice sheets, we use X-ray diffraction to measure ice crystal orientations. X-ray measurement equipment which can measure the orientation of the c axis and a axis of each crystal in a thin section with high measurement accuracy was developed. In this study, we present a-axes orientation distribution of the deep part of the GRIP (Greenland summit) ice core. At some depths, we find an anisotropic distribution of a-axes orientation. Long-term uniaxial compression tests are also carried out on the GRIP ice core to investigate the ice fabric evolution process. The c-axis orientation distribution develops into a stronger single maximum as the strain increases up to about 20% strain. We find that the a axes of each grain also tend to cluster close to nearly a mutual direction. We discuss the development process of ice fabrics, taking into consideration the distribution of the a-axis orientations. It is suggested that these fabrics may be attributed to a local simple shear deformation in the deep part of an ice sheet.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756405781812501

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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