Paper No. 111-7
Presentation Time: 3:25 PM
INFERRING FORMS OF GLACIER SLIP LAWS FROM ESTIMATES OF ICE-BED SEPARATION DURING GLACIER SLIP
Sea-level projections depend sensitively on the parameterization used for basal slip in glacier flow models. During slip over rock beds, ice-bed separation is proportional to the slip velocity and basal water pressure. We present a method for using these variables and measured bed topography to estimate the average, adverse (upglacier-facing), bed slope in contact with ice, m. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of slip over small areas of former beds has shown that changes in m with increasing slip velocity and water pressure mimic changes in basal drag. Computed values of m can thus provide the form of the slip law that relates drag to velocity and water pressure, avoiding computationally expensive numerical modeling. The method is applied to 618 sections of former glacier beds. Results generally show an increase in m, and hence inferred basal drag, with slip velocity up to a limiting value, consistent with a regularized Coulomb slip law.