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Flow of Blue Glacier, Olympic Mountains, Washington, U.S.A.

Meier, Mark F. and Kamb, W. Barclay and Allen, Clarence R. and Sharp, Robert P. (1974) Flow of Blue Glacier, Olympic Mountains, Washington, U.S.A. Journal of Glaciology, 13 (68). pp. 187-212. ISSN 0022-1430. doi:10.3189/s0022143000023029.

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Velocity and strain-rate patterns in a small temperate valley glacier display flow effects of channel geometry, ice thickness, surface slope, and ablation. Surface velocities of 20–55 m/year show year-to-year fluctuations of 1.5–3 m/year. Transverse profiles of velocity have the form of a higher-order parabola modified by the effects of flow around a broad bend in the channel, which makes the velocity profile asymmetric, with maximum velocity displaced toward the outside of the bend. Marginal sliding rates are 5–22 m/year against bedrock and nil against debris. Velocity vectors diverge from the glacier center-line near the terminus, in response to surface ice loss, but converge toward it near the firn line because of channel narrowing. Plunge of the vectors gives an emergence flow component that falls short of balancing ice loss by about 1 m/year. Center-line velocities vary systematically with ice thickness and surface slope. In the upper half of the reach studied, effects of changing thickness and slope tend to compensate, and velocities are nearly constant; in the lower half, the effects are cumulative and velocities decrease progressively down-stream. Where the slope increases down-stream from 7° to 9°, reflecting a bedrock step, there is localized longitudinal extension of 0.03 year^(–1) followed by compression of 0.08 year^(–1) where the slope decreases. Marginal shear (up to 0.5 year^(–1)) is strongly asymmetric due to flow around the bend: the stress center-line, where one of the principal axes becomes longitudinal, is displaced 150 m toward the inside of the bend. This effect is prominently visible in the crevasse pattern. Ice fluxes calculated independently by “laminar” flow theory and by continuity disagree in a way which shows that internal deformation of the ice is controlled not by local surface slope but by an effective slope that is nearly constant over the reach studied.

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Additional Information:© 1974 International Glaciological Society. MS. received 6 June 1972. Contribution No. 2105, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences2105
Issue or Number:68
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190905-073940240
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Official Citation:Meier, M., Barclay Kamb, W., Allen, C., & Sharp, R. (1974). Flow of Blue Glacier, Olympic Mountains, Washington, U.S.A. Journal of Glaciology, 13(68), 187-212. doi:10.3189/S0022143000023029
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98421
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Sep 2019 15:01
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:39

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