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Revisiting Weertman's tombstone bed

  • Douglas R. MacAyeal (a1)

Abstract

Johannes Weertman published his first glaciological paper in 1957 only 5 years after getting his DSc in metallurgy from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. The paper presented the very first sliding law developed quantitatively from first principles, and involved the unconventional idealization of bed roughness using cubic ‘tombstones’ of rock. Since 1957, there has been a great deal of progress in understanding glacier sliding, but few studies, if any, have preserved the original tombstone geometry that was a hallmark of this first theory. The current study presents a partial reanalysis of the sliding process over a bed with tombstone obstacles using modern numerical methods. The result confirms the enduring applicability of Weertman's model as a pedagogical tool and motivates new questions about (1) folding flow near bedrock obstacles that invert normal ice stratigraphy, (2) the presence and role of stress singularities on sharp edges of bedrock, and (3) the validity of a presumption that regelation flow can be plug-like.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Douglas R. MacAyeal, E-mail: drm7@uchicago.edu

References

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Revisiting Weertman's tombstone bed

  • Douglas R. MacAyeal (a1)

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