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Featured Science Paper

Analytical solutions for the surface response to small amplitude perturbations in boundary layer in the shallow-ice-stream approximation

Two papers by Dr Hilmar Gudmundsson are highlighted:

Paper One Analytical solutions for the surface response to small amplitude perturbations in boundary layer in the shallow-ice-stream approximation, Gudmundsson, G. H. 2008 Cryosphere, 2, No. 2, 77-93
Find link to the full paper in the NERC Open Research Archive

Paper Two On the limit to resolution and information on basal properties obtainable from surface data on ice streams Gudmundsson, G. H., Raymond, M. 2008 Cryosphere, 2, No. 2, 167-178
Find link to the full paper in the NERC Open Research Archive

The subject of these two papers is the relationship between surface and bed properties on fast-flowing ice streams. The flow of ice streams is, to a large extent, controlled by the properties of the bed. Because of the overlying ice it is difficult to gain access to the bed and measure its properties directly. The basic idea of these two papers is to determine the bed properties indirectly by studying the connection between the bed and the surface.

The first paper looks at how irregularities in the bedrock and in the slipperiness of the bed affect the surface topography and surface velocities. The second paper looks at the opposite problem of estimating bedrock and slipperiness from data about surface topography and velocities.

The paper shows how one can estimate both bedrock topography and bed slipperiness from the same data set collected at the surface and clearly separate between the two. One of the findings reveals that it will be a challenge to detect any variations in basal slipperiness shorter than about 20 ice thicknesses, and that most short-scale variability in surface velocities and surface topography must be caused by the underlying bedrock topography.

Authors

Gudmundsson, G. H., Raymond, M.

Publication

Cryosphere, 2, No. 2