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Title:Near-surface flow in glaciers obeying Glen's Law
Author(s):Johnson, Robert E.; McMeeking, Robert M.
Subject(s):Glen's Flow Law
Glacier's Surface
Abstract:In determining the gravity driven flow of a glacier or ice sheet which obeys Glen's flow law, previous methods have predicted infinite longitudinal stress at the glacier's surface. This physically unacceptable occurrence is due to a break-down in the mathematical methods used to obtain the solution. Using the method of matched asymptotic expansions, the solution valid in the near-surface region is determined. The size of the near-surface or boundary layer region is found to be of order δ1/3, where δ = h0/L is the assumed small ratio of the characteristic thickness and length of the ice sheet. The solution is obtained for ice sheets on both a steep and gentle base slope. The stress field in the near-surface region is obtained and we find that the boundary layer does not significantly affect the surface velocities or the glacier profile.
Issue Date:1982-09
Publisher:Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. College of Engineering. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Series/Report:TAM R 454
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:National Science Foundation 82/09
Rights Information:Copyright 1982 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-11-04

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  • Technical Reports - Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM)
    TAM technical reports include manuscripts intended for publication, theses judged to have general interest, notes prepared for short courses, symposia compiled from outstanding undergraduate projects, and reports prepared for research-sponsoring agencies.

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