ice flow

Glacier flow

Videos This video from the BBC shows how glaciers flow, making good use of timelapse imagery.

Structural glaciology

Introduction | Primary stratification | Longitudinal surface structures | Crevasses | Ogives | Debris cover | Medial moraines | Further reading | References | Comments | Introduction As glaciers flow, they crack and fracture in predictable ways. This brittle failure of the glacier ice yields insights into glacier strain, both in the present day and … Read more

Longitudinal Stress

Deviatoric stress Normal stress is the stress acting on the bed in the vertical direction. Ice tends to spread out under its own weight, so normal stresses act in all other directions. If the ice is subject to other pushes and pulls, the stresses at location x may differ from the average value[1]. The difference … Read more

Stress and strain

Introduction | Newtown’s Three Laws | Types of stress and strain | Glacier flow | Summary | References | Comments | Introduction to glacier stress and strain In Part I (Deformation and Sliding), we learned that glaciers flow downslope in response to their driving stresses, which are a function of the weight of the ice … Read more

Surging glaciers

Introduction | Surging glacier features | Other kinds of flow instability | References | Comments | Variable glacier flow Although all glaciers flow, the way in which they flow is highly variable. We already know that the thermal regime can impact on glacier flow, with cold-based glaciers being frozen to their bed and flowing very … Read more

Deformation and sliding

Glacier mass balance | Glacier flow | Internal deformation | Basal sliding | Subglacial deformation | Different types of glacier flow | References | Comments | Glacier mass balance How do glaciers move? A glacier is a pile of ice, and as such, deforms under the force of gravity. Glaciers flow downslope because they accumulate … Read more

Glacial thermal regime

Introduction | Thermal regimes | Warm-based glacial processes | Polythermal glacial processes | Cold-based glacial processes | References | Comments | Introduction Glacial thermal regime is one of the most important factors in determining subglacial processes. The amount of meltwater at the base of a glacier controls entrainment, transfer and deposition of debris, as well … Read more

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