Ice shelf stability and the brittle–ductile transition

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Authors

Bradley Lipovsky 

Abstract

Fracturing processes limit the ability of floating ice shelves to stabilize marine ice sheets. Here, I argue that ice shelves are most susceptible to fracture when their thickness is less than the brittle–ductile transition thickness H*?, defined as the depth at which the overburden pressure equals the local yield strength in tension. A fracture mechanical analysis, compared with time-lapse imagery and thickness maps demonstrate the ice dynamical role of the brittle–ductile transition. These findings suggest the existence of a calving–thinning instability whereby thinning-induced brittleness increases calving rates and reduces buttressing.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/5b9y4

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Glaciology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

Dates

Published: 2018-12-22 01:48

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License

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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