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Small-Scale Strain Measurements on a Glacier Surface

  • S. C. Colbeck (a1) and R. J. Evans (a2)

Abstract

Surface deformations in the neighborhood of a crevasse field were measured over short (3 m) gage lengths in order to study flow conditions associated with crevasse formation. The results obtained were unusual in that they were inconsistent with large-scale results found by previous workers. It was concluded that the presence of small-scale surface effects, such as fractures, pot-holes and healed crevasses give rise to small-scale deformation fields with large spatial and temporal variations and that there is a lower limit of gage length below which deformation measurements pertinent to regional (low phenomena cannot be made. This lower limit is apparently an order of magnitude greater than the spacing of the features which give rise to localized effects.

Résumé

Les déformations de la surface dans le voisinage d’une zone de crevasses ont été mesurées sur de courtes longueurs (3 m) en vue d’étudier les conditions d’écoulement associées à la formation des crevasses. Les résultats obtenus ont été étranegs en ce sens qu’ils n’étaient pas cohérents avec les résultats à grande échelle obtenus par les précédents chercheurs. On en conclut que la présence d’effets de surface à petite échelle tels que fractures, marmites et crevasses cicatrisées donne naissance à des champs de déformation à petite échelle avec de grandes variations dans l’espace et dans le temps et qu’il y a une limite inférieure des longueurs mesurées en dessous de laquelle les mesures de déformation convenables pour le phénomène d’écoulement d’ensemble ne peuvent plus être faites. Cette limite inférieure est apparement d’un ordre de grandeur supérieur à l’espacement des accidents qui donnent naissance à des effets localisés.

Zusammenfassung

Die Oberflächende-formationen in der Nachbarschaft eines Spaltengcbictcs wurden in kurzen Abständen (3 m) gemessen, um die mit der Spaltenbildung verbundenen Fliessvorgänge zu uniersuchen. Die erhaltenen Resultate waren insofern ungewöhnlich, als sie mil den Ergebnissen weitmaschiger Messungen früherer Autoren nicht Übereinstimmten. Es wurde geschlossen, dass das Vorhandensein kleinlciligcr Erscheinungen an der Oberfläche, wie Brüche, Gletschertöpfe und wieder geschlossene Spalten, fein strukturierte Déformations-felder mit grossen räumlichen und zeitlichen Schwankungen bewirkt und dass es eine untere Grenze für die Messabstände gibt, unter der Deformationsmessungen in Abhängigkeit von regionalen Fliesserscheinungen nicht durchgeführt werden können. Diese untere Grenze ist sichtlich um eine Ordnung grosser als die Dimension der Erscheinungen, welche örtliche Effekte hervorrufen.

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Copyright

References

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Colbeck, S.C. Evans, R.J. 1969 Experimental studies related to the mechanics of glacier flow. Trend in Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 2, p. 814.
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Lachenbruch, A.H. 1961 Depth and spacing of tension cracks. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 66, No. 12, p. 427392.
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Meier, M.F. 1960 Mode of flow of Saskatchewan Glacier, Alberta, Canada. U.S. Geological Survey. Professional Paper 351.
Meier, M.F. 1957 Preliminary study of crevasse formation, by Meier, M.F.. U.S. Snow, Ice and Permafrost Research Establishment. Report 38.
Nye, J.F. 1952 The mechanics of glacier flow. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 2, No. 12, p. 8293.

Small-Scale Strain Measurements on a Glacier Surface

  • S. C. Colbeck (a1) and R. J. Evans (a2)

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