Optimising ice flow law parameters using borehole deformation measurements and numerical modelling

David M. Chandler, Bryn Hubbard, Alun L. Hubbard, Tavi Murray, David Rippin

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Abstract

Internal ice strain rates have been measured along two boreholes drilled through Glacier de Tsanfleuron, Switzerland. Differences between these measurements and the output from a 3D numerical model of glacier motion have been minimized by a scheme that optimizes three rheological parameters in the constitutive equation for ice creep: the stress exponent n, the rate factor A, and a Lower Zone (basal ice) enhancement factor ELZ. Results suggest that a linear rheology dominated by diffusion creep (n = 1) is more appropriate for modelling ice flow in this relatively thin (generally <80 m thick) glacier than the conventional n = 3, and that ELZ is ∼2. For n = 1, the predicted ice crystal size and value of ELZ are both consistent with measurements made on ice cores recovered from the glacier, providing independent support for the optimization technique and the linear creep model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL12502
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number12
Early online date19 Jun 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2008

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