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Estimating rates of basal motion and internal ice deformation from continuous tilt measurements

  • G. Hilmar Gudmundsson (a1), Andreas Bauder (a1), Martin Lüthi (a1), Urs H. Fischer (a1) and Martin Funk (a1)...

Abstract

Over a two-year period, continuous measurements of temporal changes in tilt, conducted with a string of tilt meters in a borehole on Unteraargletscher, Bernese Alps, Switzerland, have been used to estimate the basal-motion component. This estimation is based on a comparison of the measurements with synthetic tilt curves, computed using a parameterization of a simplified flow field. The best agreement is found for a ratio of basal motion to forward motion due to ice deformation (slip ratio) equal to about 1.2. Measured tilt curves exhibit a number of different transient features. While an overall increase in tilt angle is observed at every tilt-meter location, two of the sensors recorded anomalous tilt behaviour. These anomalies are characterized by sudden and drastic variations in tilt. A particularly intriguing example of such short-term tilt variations was recorded with a tilt meter positioned 40 m above the bed during the 1997 summer melt season.

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References

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