Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Response of valley glaciers to climate change and kinematic waves: a study with a numerical ice-flow model

  • R. S. W. van de Wal (a1) and J. Oerlemans (a1)

Abstract

A simple numerical flow model that couples mass divergence directly to basal shear stress as the only driving force is used to study kinematic waves. Kinematic waves that result from a perturbation of the ice thickness or mass balance are compared with the linear kinematic-wave theory of Nye/Weertman. The wave velocity is calculated as a function of the wavelength and amplitude of a perturbation. The modelled wave velocity is typically 6–8 times the vertically averaged velocity in the flow direction whereas linear theory predicts a factor of only 5.

An experiment with the geometry of Hintereisferner, Austria, shows that the increase in the local ice velocity during a kinematic wave is about 10% but varies slightly depending on the position along the glacier and the amplitude of the kinematic wave. Kinematic waves are thus hard to detect from velocity measurements.

The dynamics of simple continuity models are rich enough to support a variety of kinematic-wave phenomena. Such models are a useful tool to study the response of valley glaciers to climate change.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Response of valley glaciers to climate change and kinematic waves: a study with a numerical ice-flow model
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Response of valley glaciers to climate change and kinematic waves: a study with a numerical ice-flow model
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Response of valley glaciers to climate change and kinematic waves: a study with a numerical ice-flow model
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Bindschadler, K. 1981. The predicted behavior of Griesgletscher. Wallis, Switzerland, and its possible threat to a nearby dam. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 16(1), 1980. 4559.
Bindschadler, R. 1982. A numerical model of temperate glacier flow applied to the quiescent phase of a surge-type glacier. J. Glaciol., 21(99), 239265.
Budd, W.K. and Jenssen, D. 1975. Numerical modelling of glacier systems, International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 104 (General Assembly of Moscow 1971 — Snow and Ice), 257291.
Greuell, W. 1992. Hintereisferner. Austria: mass-balance reconstruction and numerical modelling of the historical length variations. J. Glaciol., 38(129), 233244.
Huybreehts, P., de Nooze, P. and Decleir, H. 1989. Numerical modelling of Glacier d ’Argentière and its historic front variations. In Oerlemans, J., ed. Glacier fluctuations and climatic change. Dordrecht, etc., Kluwer Academic Publishers. 373389.
Kruss, P.D. 1984. Terminus response of Lewis Glacier. Mount Kenya, Kenya, to sinusoidal net-balance forcing. J. Glaciol., 30 (105), 212217.
Lighthill, M.J. and Whitham, G.B. 1955. On kinematic waves. Proc. Soc,R. London. Ser. A, 229, 281345.
Lliboutry, I. 1958. La dynamique de la Mer de Glace et la vague de 1891–95 d ’après les mesures de Joseph Vallot. International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 47 Symposium at Chamonix 1958— Physics of the Movement of the Ice). 125138.
Lliboutry, L. 1965. Traité de glaciologie. Tome II. Paris, Masson.
Lliboutry, L. and Reynaud, L. 1981. “Global dynamics” of a temperate valley glacier. Mer de Glace, and past velocities deduced from Forbes hands. J. Gtaciol., 27(96), 207226.
Nye, J.F. 1958. A theory of wave formation in glaciers. International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 17 (Symposium at Ghamonix 1958 — Physics of the Movement of the Ice), 139154.
Nye, J.F. 1960. The response of glaciers and ice-sheets to seasonal and climatic changes. Proc. Soc,R. London. Ser. A. 256(1287), 559584.
Nye, J.F. 1963. The response of a glacier to changes in the rate of nourishment and wastage. Proc. Soc,R. London. Ser. A. 275. 87112.
Oerlemans, J. 1986. An attempt to simulate historic front variations of Nigardsbrccn. Norway. Theor. Appt. Climatol., 37. 126135.
Paterson, W.S.B. 1981. The physics of glaciers. Second edition. Oxford, etc., Pergamon Press.
Shoemaker, E.M. and Morland, L.W. 1984. A glacier flow model incorporating longitudinal deviatoric stresses. J. Gtaciol., 30(106), 334340.
Stroeven, Α., van de Wal, R. and Oerlemans, J. 1989. Historic front variations of the Rhône glacier: simulation with an ice flow model. In Oerlemans, J., ed. Glacier fluctuations and climatic change. Dordrecht. etc., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 391405.
Van der Veen, C.J., 1987. Longitudinal stresses and basal sliding: a comparative study. In Van der Veen, C.J. and Oerlemans, J. eds. Dynamics of the West Antarctic ice sheet. Dordrecht, etc., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 223248.
Weertman, J. 1957. On the sliding of glaciers. J. Glaciol., 3(21), 3338.
Weertman, J. 1958. Traveling waves on glaciers. International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 47 Symposium at Chamonix 1958 — Physics of the Movement of the Ice). 162168.

Response of valley glaciers to climate change and kinematic waves: a study with a numerical ice-flow model

  • R. S. W. van de Wal (a1) and J. Oerlemans (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed