Three-dimensional deformation measured in an Alaskan glacier

Joel T. Harper, Neil F. Humphrey, W. Tad Pfeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Measurements of movement along 28 boreholes reveal the three-dimensional flow field in a 6 million cubic meter reach of Worthington Glacier, a temperate valley glacier located in Alaska. Sliding at the bed accounted for 60 to 70 percent of the glacier's surface motion. Strain rates in the ice were low from the surface to a depth of about 120 meters, but then increased rapidly toward the bed. Ice deformation was not affected by temporal changes in the sliding rate. The three-dimensional pattern of motion indicates that plane strain, which is often assumed by models, is a poor approximation of this viscous flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1340-1342
Number of pages3
Issue number5381
StatePublished - Aug 28 1998


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