Semi-brittle rheology and ice dynamics in DynEarthSol3D

Liz C. Logan, Luc L. Lavier, Eunseo Choi, Eh Tan, Ginny A. Catania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Abstract. We present a semi-brittle rheology and explore its potential for simulating glacier and ice sheet deformation using a numerical model, DynEarthSol3D (DES), in simple, idealized experiments. DES is a finite-element solver for the dynamic and quasi-static simulation of continuous media. The experiments within demonstrate the potential for DES to simulate ice failure and deformation in dynamic regions of glaciers, especially at quickly changing boundaries like glacier termini in contact with the ocean. We explore the effect that different rheological assumptions have on the pattern of flow and failure. We find that the use of a semi-brittle constitutive law is a sufficient material condition to form the characteristic pattern of basal crevasse-aided pinch-and-swell geometry, which is observed globally in floating portions of ice and can often aid in eroding the ice sheet margins in direct contact with oceans.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-132
Number of pages16
JournalThe Cryosphere
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-04-06
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by NSF grant ARC-0941678 and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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