Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Glaciology

Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page


Issue Number


Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

Using the finite-element we have modeled the stress field near the calving face of an idealized tidewater glacier under a variety of assumptions about submarine calving-face height, subaerial calving-face height, and ice rheology These simulations all suggest that a speed maximum should be present at the calving face near the waterline. In experiments without crevassing, the decrease in horizontal velocity above this maximum culminates in a zone of longitudinal compression at the surface somewhat Up-glacier from the face. This zone of compression appears to be a consequence of the non-linear rheology of ice. It disappears when a linear rheology is assumed. Explorations of the near-surface stress field indicate that when pervasive crevassing of the surface ice is accounted for in the simulations (by rheological softening), the zone of compressive strain rates does not develop. Variations in the pattern of horizontal velocity with glacier thickness support the contention that calving rates should increase with water depth at the calving face. In addition, the height of the subaerial calving face may have an importance that is not visible ill Current field data owing to the lack of variation in height of such faces in nature. Glaciers with lower calving faces may not have sufficient tensile stress to calve actively, while tensile stresses in simulated higher faces are sufficiently high that such faces will be unlikely to build in nature.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Hanson, B, and Hooke, RL, 2003, Buckling Rate and Overhang Development at a Calving Face: Journal of Glaciology, v. 49, p. 577-586. Available on publisher's site at:

Publisher Statement

© Copyright 2003 by the International Glaciological Society




publisher's version of the published document



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.