Towards a hydrological model for computerized ice-sheet simulations

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Ice-sheet modelling typically uses grid cells 10 km or more on a side, so any hydrological and sliding model must average or parameterize processes that vary over shorter distances than this. Observations and theory suggest that basally produced water remains in a distributed, high-pressure system unless it encounters low-pressure channel fed by surface melt. Such distributed systems appear to exhibit increasing water storage, water transmission and water lubrication of sliding with increasing water pressure. A model based on these assumptions successfully simulates some aspects of the non-steady response of mountain glaciers to externally forced channel-pressure variations; it merits testing in ice-sheet modelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-660
Number of pages12
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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