Conditions for bubble elongation in cold ice-sheet ice

Richard B. Alley, Joan J. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Highly elongated bubbles are sometimes observed in ice-sheet ice. Elongation is favored by rapid ice deformation, and opposed by diffusive processes. We use simple models to show that vapor transport dominates diffusion except possibly very close to the melting point, and that latent-heat effects are insignificant. Elongation is favored by larger bubbles at pore close-off, but is nearly independent of bubble compression below close-off. The simple presence of highly elongated bubbles indicates only that a critical ice-strain rate has been exceeded for significant time, and provides no information on possible disruption of stratigraphic continuity by ice deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number149
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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