Document Type


Publication Date

January 1997


Ice sheets -- Antarctica -- West Antarctica, Glaciers -- Antarctica, Glaciers -- Antarctica -- Speed


Kilometer-scale variations in ice velocity and surface topography are used to investigate the style of glacier deformation in the main body of Ice Stream B, West Antarctica. The pattern is very different from that reported for other glaciers. For the 250 km2 area studied on Ice Stream B, most of the observed deformation occurs within two narrow bands, in which there is large across-flow compression and slow lateral shearing. The bands underlie valleys in the ice-surface topography. Measured upward displacement of ice adjacent to the rapidly compressing bands appears to be linked to the creation of the ice stream's topography. The most likely cause for the observed pattern of strain rates and surface topography, and their changes over time, is deformation guided by longitudinal bands of ice with an aligned crystal fabric.


Originally appeared in Journal of Glaciology, published by the International Glaciological Society. Article can be found at

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