How Ice Sheets Flow

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2300-2301
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066730

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Melt waters at the bases of glaciers and ice sheets play an important role in their flow behavior. In her Perspective, Hulbe highlights the report by Fahnestock et al., who have identified high basal melting rates below a part of the Greenland Ice Sheet as the cause for fast ice sheet flow. They attribute the observation to higher than expected geothermal heat flow. But melt waters are not uniformly distributed underneath the ice. Many regions are frozen to the bedrock. Determining the conditions under which basal melting occurs is important for understanding ice sheet histories and predicting their future behaviors.