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GLACIAL FLOW and MASS BALANCE

A. Introduction

Because ice flows, glaciers:

Learning outcomes: you should be able to:


B. Flow Processes

Basal Sliding

  • quantity & distribution of water at the bed

  • regelation

  • amount material embedded in basal ice

  • bed roughness

Diagram: regelation
  • associated with:

    • warm-based and poly-thermal glaciers

    • abrasion (striations, polished rock, glacial flour)

    • crushing & fracturing (chatter marks, crescentic gouges) Link: photo of crescentic gouges

    • plucking

    • basal debris transport


Photo: © K.A. Lemke.

 


Photo: W.C. Alden, USGS Photographic Library, Image awc01839.

Plastic Deformation or Plastic Flow

Internal Shearing link: crevasse photo

Subglacial Bed Deformation


C. Flow Patterns

Vertical

Horizontal


D. Glacial Mass Balance

Accounting of gains, losses and associated changes in size

Diagram: glacial mass balanceZones:

Classification:

Relationship between mass balance and flow


E. Summary


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©Karen A. Lemke: klemke@uwsp.edu
Last revised November 14, 2016