Stresses at the surface and at depth are calculated for a stretch of Byrd Glacier, Antarctica. The calculations are based on photogrammetrically determined velocities and elevations (Brecher 1986) and on radio-echo-determined ice thicknesses. The results take the form of maps of drags from each valley wall, of normal forces laterally and longitudinally, and of basal drag. Special challenges in the calculation are the numerical gridding of velocity (ensuring that unreasonable short-wavelength features do not develop in the calculation) and inference of ice thicknesses where there are no data.
The results show important variations in basal drag. For the floating part, basal drag is near zero, as expected. Within the grounded part, longitudinal components of basal drag are very variable, reaching 300 kPa, with a dominant wavelength of 10 km. Generally these drag maxima correlate with maxima in driving stress, and the across-glacier component of basal drag is usually small. An important exception occurs in the center of the grounded part of the glacier, where the flow shows major deviations from the axis of the valley.
Results also show that side drag is roughly constant at 250 kPa along both margins of the glacier, tension from the ice shelf is about 100 kPa, and tension in the grounded part cycles between 250 and 150kPa. Calculated deep velocities are too large and this is attributed to deficiencies in the conventional isotropic flow law used.