Ice Stream C, Antarctica, sticky spots detected by microearthquake monitoring

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Microearthquakes at the base of slow-moving Ice Stream C occur many times more frequently than at the base of fast-moving Ice Stream B. We suggest that the microearthquake source sites are so-called "sticky spots', defined as limited zones of stronger subglacial material interspersed within a weaker matrix. The fault-plane area of the microearthquakes (O(102m2)) is therefore a measure of the size of the sticky spots. The spatial density of the microearthquakes (O(10km-2)) is a measure of the distribution of sticky spots. The average stress drop associated with these microearthquakes is consistent with an ice-stream bed model of weak subglacial till interspersed with stronger zones that support much or all of the basal shear stress. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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