Laboratory study of ice deformation under tidal loading conditions with application to Antarctic glaciers

Lead PI: Dr. Christine McCarthy , Meredith Nettles, Heather Savage

Unit Affiliation: Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

February 2013 - January 2017
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: This award supports a project to conduct laboratory experiments with a new, custom-fabricated cryo-friction apparatus to explore ice deformation oscillatory stresses like those experienced by tidewater glaciers in nature. The experimental design will explore the dynamic frictional properties of periodically loaded ice sliding on rock. Although the frictional strength of ice has been studied in the past these studies have all focused on constant rates of loading and sliding. The results of this work will advance understanding of ice stream dynamics by improving constraints on key material and frictional properties and allowing physics-based predictions of the amplitude and phase of glacier strain due to tidally induced stress variations. The intellectual merit of this work is that it will result in a better understanding of dynamic rheological parameters and will provide better predictive tools for dynamic glacier flow.