Calving of floating ice shelves is studied by a viscoelastic finite-element analysis. The fan-shaped breaking-up of glaciers due to forces that cause bending on creeping ice is assumed to be axisymmetric. Bending may be due to geometry of the bcdrock, action of tides and waves, and imbalance (at the ice front) between the stress in the ice and the sea-water pressure.
The bulk and shear moduli of the ice are represented by relaxation functions of the Prony series, which is a discrete relaxation spectrum composed of a constant and a summation of exponential terms. These properties are also functions of temperature, that varies over the thickness of the ice shelf. The temperature distribution across the thickness of the ice is obtained from calculations based on a linear dependence of thermal conductivity on the temperature. Numerical results are presented for various calving mechanisms. A computer code, VISIC1, is developed by modifying a finite-element viscoelastic code, VISICE, for floating ice islands. The buoyancy of the water is taken into account by a Winkler spring model, with the spring force determined from displaced volume. Locations of crack initiation obtained from the analysis are used to predict the iceberg size immediately after calving.