An approximate, analytic solution is found for the profile of a water-free crevasse in a field of closely spaced crevasses. The depth of penetration of the crevasses into the glacier is found. If the fracture strength of ice is taken to be zero, the penetration depth is equal to the value found by Nye and is independent of the crevasse spacing. This conclusion is in disagreement with results reported recently by R.A. Smith. If the fracture strength of ice is taken to be finite, the penetration depth is reduced if the spacing between crevasses is reduced.
The results of the analysis can be applied to other crack problems. In particular, it can be applied to thermal, secondary cracking that it is hoped occurs when cooling fluid flows through the cracks created by hydraulic fracture for the purpose of extracting geothermal heat from hot, dry rock masses.