Multiple Steady States in Ice-Water-Till Systems

Richard B. Alley
1990 Annals of Glaciology  
An ice sheet with fixed boundary conditions may have two steady configurations, as shown by a new one-dimensional model including the physics and continuity of ice, water, and deforming subglacial till. In one steady state, a steep surface slope causes rapid internal ice shearing but forces basal water through subglacial aquifers, suppressing basal velocity; in the other steady state, a gentle surface slope causes only slow ice shearing but allows water to lubricate the ice-bed interface and
more » ... ed interface and cause rapid basal velocities. Small climatic forcing may cause large ice-sheet response during a switch between steady states.
doi:10.1017/s0260305500008132 fatcat:6gg4vwz3wrbebiu6zrfguhmlze