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Ice Flow Leading to the Deep Core Hole at Dye 3, Greenland*

  • I. M. Whillans (a1), K. C. Jezek (a2), A. R. Drew (a3) and N. Gundestrup (a4)

Abstract

Detailed studies of the last 20 km of the flow-line leading to the core hole at Dye 3 Greenland, provide a description of ice flow over and around basal hills. The surface pattern is very simple. Velocity vectors are nearly parallel to one another and the largest variations in velocity are speed changes along the direction of flow. The surface elevation is stepped and the speed is faster than average where the surface slope is steepest. These positions correspond to basal highs, and the surface velocity increases as expected, based on the decrease in ice thickness, which indicates that most of the ice thickness must vary in velocity as does surface ice. Further support for this comes from the form of an internal radio-reflecting layer, which, in general, has the same shape as the bed but with much reduced relief. The damping of the relief is the same both along and across the flowline, suggesting that lateral velocity fluctuations are not important and that flow around and between obstacles is not well developed at the surface or at depth. At two sites, however, the internal layer does not match the bed and at one of these there must be important third-dimensional flow at depth.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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page 185 note *

Institute of Polar Studies Contribution No.449. Geophysical and Polar Research Center Contribution No.412.

Footnotes

References

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Bow, W A In press Isotopic diffusion in polar firn. Ohio State University. Institute of Polar Studies. Report
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Dansgaard, W and 6 others 1982 A new Greenland deep ice core. Science 218(4579): 12731277
Drew, A R, Whillans, I M 1984 Measurement of surface deformation of the Greenland ice sheet by satellite tracking. Annale of Glaciology 5: 5155
Jezek, K C, Roeloffs, E A, Greischer, L L In press A geophysical survey of subglacial geology around the deep-drilling site at Dye-3, Greenland. American Geophysical Union, GISP Monograph
Overgaard, S, Gundestrup, N In press Bedrock topography of the Greenland ice sheet in the Dye-3 area. American Geophysical Union, GISP Monograph
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Whillans, I M 1977 The equation of continuity and its application to the ice sheets near “Byrd” station, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 18(80): 359371
Whillans, I M, Johnsen, S J 1983 Longitudinal variations in glacial flow: theory and test using data from the Byrd station strain network, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology 29(101): 7897

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