Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
Research article
30 May 2017
Research article |  | 30 May 2017

Iceberg calving of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica: full-Stokes modeling combined with linear elastic fracture mechanics

Hongju Yu, Eric Rignot, Mathieu Morlighem, and Helene Seroussi

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Cited articles

Anderson, T. L.: Fracture Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications, 3rd Edn., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2005.
Bassis, J. N. and Ma, Y.: Evolution of basal crevasses links ice shelf stability to ocean forcing, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 409, 203–211,, 2015.
Bassis, J. N. and Walker, C. C.: Upper and lower limits on the stability of calving glaciers from the yield strength envelope of ice, P. Roy. Soc. A-Math. Phy., 468, 913–931,, 2012.
Benn, D. I., Warren, C. R., and Mottram, R. H.: Calving processes and the dynamics of calving glaciers, Earth-Sci. Rev., 82, 143–179,, 2007.
Blatter, H.: Velocity And Stress-Fields In Grounded Glaciers: A Simple Algorithm For Including Deviatoric Stress Gradients, J. Glaciol., 41, 333–344, 1995.
Short summary
We combine 2-D ice flow model with linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) to model the calving behavior of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. We find the combination of full-Stokes (FS) model and LEFM produces crevasses that are consistent with observations. We also find that calving is enhanced with pre-existing surface crevasses, shorter ice shelves or undercut at the ice shelf front. We conclude that the FS/LEFM combination is capable of constraining crevasse formation and iceberg calving.