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The Mechanics of Glacier Flow

  • J. F. Nye (a1)

Abstract

The flow of valley glaciers is examined in the light of recent laboratory experiments on the behaviour of ice under load. Simple expressions are given for the velocity distributions in some cases of laminar flow, and the modification of a pure laminar flow theory necessary to explain the formation of transverse crevasses and thrust planes is considered. The paper ends with some remarks about the formation of crevasse patterns on the surfaces of glaciers. The statical equilibrium of a circular ice cap is discussed in an appendix.

Résumé

L’écoulement des glaciers dans les vallées est examiné à la lumière des expériences récentes en laboratoire sur le comportement de la glace soumise à une compression. Des expressions simples sont données pour la distribution des vitesses dans quelques cas de courants laminaires. On considère ensuite les modifications à apporter à une théorie sur les courants purement laminaires pour expliquer la formation des crevasses transversales et des plans de glissement. Cette communication se termine par quelques remarques concernant les figures formées par les crevasses sur la surface des glaciers. L’équilibre d’une calotte circulaire de glace est discuté dans un Appendice.

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Copyright

References

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1. Evans, J. W. The wearing down of the rocks. Presidential address to the Geologists’ Association. Proe. Geol. Ass., Vol. 24, 1913, p. 241300.
2. Perutz, M. F. Glaciology—the flow of glaciers. The Observatory, Vol. 70, 1950, p. 6465.
3. Somigliana, C. Sulla profondità dei ghiacciai. Atti della Reale Academia Nationale dei Lined, Rendiconti, Classe di Scienxe frsiche, matematiche e naturali. Vol. 30, Serie 5, 1921, 1° semestre, p. 29196, 323–27, 360–64; 2° semestre, p. 3–7.
4. Koechlin, R. Les glaciers et leur mécanisme, Lausanne: Rouge et Cie., 1944, p. 103.
5. Nye, J. F. A comparison between the theoretical and the measured long profile of the Unteraar Glacier. Journ. Clac., Vol. 2, No. 12, 1952, p. 10307.
6. Mercanton, P. L. Examen de quelques formules pour la prédétermination de l’épaisseur du glacier, it loccasion de sondages récents. Geoftsica pura e applicata, Vol. 16, 1950, p. 17074.
7. Nye, J. F. The flow of glaciers and ice-sheets as a problem in plasticity. Proc. Roy. Soc., A, Vol. 207, 1951, P. 55472.
8. Hopkins, William. On the Theory of the Motion of Glaciers. Phil. Trans., Vol. 152, 1862, Part II, p. 677745.
9. Hill, R. The mathematical theory of plasticity, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950, p. 129.
10. Nádai, A. Plasticity, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931, p. 4446.
11. Glen, J. W. Experiments on the deformation of ice.Journ. Glac., Vol. 2, No. 12, 1952, p. 11114.
12. Orowan, E. Discussion. Journ. Glac., Vol. 1, 1949, No.5, p. 23136.
13. Nye, J. F. A method of calculating the thicknesses of the ice-sheets, Nature, Vol. 169, 1952, p. 529.
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Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
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