In search of ice-stream sticky spots

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165 Scopus citations


The drag induced by large bedrock bumps sticking into the base of an ice stream is the most likely cause of sticky spots. Discontinuity of lubricating till can cause sticky spots, but they will collect lubricating water and therefore are unlikely to support a shear stress of more than a few tenths of a bar unless they contain abundant large bumps. Raised regions on the ice-air surface can also cause moderate increases in the shear stress supported on the bed beneath. Surveys of large-scale bed roughness would identify sticky spots caused by bedrock bumps, water-pressure measurements in regions of thin or zero till might reveal whether they were sticky spots, and strain grids across the margins of ice-surface highs would show whether the highs were causing sticky spots. Sticky spots probably are not dominant in controlling Ice Stream B near the Upstream B camp, West Antarctica. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Issue number133
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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