Finite-Element Simulation of the Barnes Ice Cap Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract The finite-element method is being used to simulate glacier flow problems, with particular emphasis on the surge behaviour of the Barnes Ice Cap, Baffin Island. Following an advanced feasibility study to determine the influence of major factors such as bed topography and flow relationships, a refined simulation model is being developed to incorporate realistically: the thermal regime of the ice mass; large deformations during flow and sliding; basal sliding zones; a temperature and stress dependent ice flow relationship; mass balance; and three-dimensional influences. The findings of the advanced feasibility study on isothermal, steady-state flow of the Barnes Ice Cap are presented in the paper before turning to a detailed discussion of the refined simulation model and its application to surging. It is clear that the finite-element method allows necessary refinements not available to analytical approaches.

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publication date

  • 1979