Ice-sheet flow features and rheological parameters derived from precise altimetric topography

F. Rémy, C. Ritz, L. Brisset
1996 Annals of Glaciology  
For the first time high-quality coverage of the ERS-1 radar altimeter provides a very accurate surface topographic map covering 80% of the Antarctic ice sheet that can contribute significantly to glaciological studies such as ice-sheet flow modelling. The topography allows estimation of the ice-flow direction, the balance velocity and the basal shear stress. A relationship between shear stress, basal temperature and a parameter related to strain rate helps in mapping the behaviour anomalies of
more » ... viour anomalies of these parameters. Longitudinal stress, sliding, bedrock topography and variation in the pre-exponential factor of the flow law are found to play a major role in the ice-flow pattern. This relation can also be used to estimate rheological parameters: the Glen exponent n is found to be 1 for T < −10°C and 3–4 for higher temperatures, where Q is found to be 70 kJ mol−1.
doi:10.1017/s0260305500013549 fatcat:4mf7erlgdvca7pl4yzglqdqorq