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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: February 2010

4 - Physical properties: elasticity, friction and diffusivity



In this chapter we review the elastic behavior of ice, friction of ice on ice and mass diffusion. In terms of creep, elastic properties allow the applied stress to be normalized and thus the behavior to be analyzed within the context of physical mechanisms (Chapters 5–8). The mass diffusion coefficient plays a similar role in creep under low stresses. It is important, as well, to the transformation from snow to ice (Chapter 3). In terms of fracture, elastic constants affect fracture toughness (Chapter 9) and, through that property, both the tensile (Chapter 10) and the compressive strength (Chapters 11, 12). Elasticity is also relevant to the ductile-to-brittle transition (Chapters 13) and to ice loads on structures (Chapter 14). Friction is a factor in the DB transition under compression and is a major consideration in brittle compressive failure, on scales small (Chapters 11, 12) and large (Chapter 15). Friction is also fundamental to tidally driven, strike-slip-like tectonic activity on a number of icy satellites within the outer Solar System, including Jupiter's moon Europa (Greenberg et al., 1998; Hoppa et al., 1999; Schulson, 2002; Kattenhorn, 2004), Neptune's Triton (Prockter et al., 2005) and Saturn's Enceladus (Nimmo et al., 2007; Smith-Konter and Pappalardo, 2008). Thermal properties play a less direct role, but we list them for completeness, Table 4.1.

Elastic properties of ice Ih single crystals

Elastic properties have been relatively well studied.

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