Fabrics in Polar Ice Sheets: Development and Prediction

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Science  22 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4851, pp. 493-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.240.4851.493


Fabrics in polar ice sheets provide a record of deformational history and control the viscosity of ice during further deformation; they affect geophysical sensing of ice sheets and provide an accessible analogue to fabric development during deformation of other geological and engineering materials. A new synthesis of experimental and theoretical results shows that c-axis fabrics are quantitatively related to cumulative strain and stress state in ice sheets for the full range of likely flow patterns. Basal shear, divergent flow, and parallel flow cause c axes to rotate toward the vertical axis, whereas convergent flow causes c axes to rotate toward a vertical plane transverse to flow.

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