Spatial variation of ice crystal fabric and implications of anisotropic flow on the evolution of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream


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tamara.gerber [ at ] nbi.ku.dk

Abstract

Anisotropic crystal fabrics in ice sheets develop as a consequence of deformation and hence record information of past ice flow. Simultaneously, the fabric affects the present-day bulk mechanical properties of glacier ice because the susceptibility of ice crystals to deformation is highly anisotropic. This is particularly relevant in dynamic areas such as fast-flowing glaciers and ice streams, where the formation of strong fabrics might play a critical role in facilitating ice flow. This fact is ignored in most state-of-the-art ice sheet models, and while their importance has been recognized years ago, accounting for fabrics evolution and their impact on the ice viscosity has only recently become feasible. Both, the application of such models in ice streams as well as their verification through in-situ observations are, however, still rare. We present an extensive dataset of fabric anisotropy derived from radar data recorded in the onset region of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream by air-borne and ground-based systems. Our methods yield the horizontal anisotropy and are based on travel time anisotropy and splitting as well as birefringence-induced power modulation of radar signals. They complement each other and show good agreement. We compare these in-situ observations with the results obtained from a fabric-evolution model employed along flow tubes in the ice stream onset to discuss the fabric in light of past flow history and its significance for the current flow mechanics of the ice stream.



Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Published
Event Details
Cryosphere, 2022, 21 Aug 2022 - 26 Aug 2022, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Eprint ID
56880
Cite as
Gerber, T. A. , Lilien, D. , Rathmann, N. , Young, T. J. , Valero-Delgado, F. , Ershadi, M. R. , Drews, R. , Jansen, D. , Franke, S. , Hvidberg, C. S. , Grinsted, A. , Zeising, O. , Humbert, A. , Gogineni, P. , Miller, H. , Helm, V. , O'Neill, C. , Dahl-Jensen, D. and Eisen, O. (2022): Spatial variation of ice crystal fabric and implications of anisotropic flow on the evolution of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream , Cryosphere, 2022, Reykjavik, Iceland, 21 August 2022 - 26 August 2022 .


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