Uniaxial compression tests (UCT) under constant cross-head speed and simple shear tests (SST) under constant load have been carried out in a snow cave at -16°C on ice cores within at most one month of extraction from depths of 235, 504, 708, and 896 m at Dye-3, Greenland, as part of the Greenland Ice Sheet Program (GISP), in order to improve understanding of flow behavior. UCT specimens had their stress axis at 45° from the core axis and SST specimens had their shear parallel to the horizontal plane of the core, so that in both cases maximum resolved shear stress was in the horizontal plane of the ice sheet.
Fracture stresses in UCT had characteristic values for each depth corresponding to core quality. When effective strain-rate was plotted against effective shear stress on a double logarithmic plot, (1) data from the same depth fell on the same straight line for both tests, (2) for a given stress, strainrate varied with core-depth by less than half an order of magnitude, and (3) the stress exponent lay between 2 and 2.5, significantly less than the 3 to 4 reported for polycrystalline ice.
Values extrapolated from the present data agree quite well with those deduced from bore-hole tilting measurements at Byrd station, Antarctica, and Camp Century, Greenland.