Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Research article
28 Feb 2018
Research article |  | 28 Feb 2018

Calving relation for tidewater glaciers based on detailed stress field analysis

Rémy Mercenier, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli

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Cited articles

Amundson, J., Fahnestock, M., Truffer, M., Brown, J., Lüthi, M., and Motyka, R.: Ice mélange dynamics and implications for terminus stability, Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F01005,, 2010. a
Balay, S., Buschelman, K., Eijkhout, V., Gropp, W. D., Kaushik, D., Knepley, M. G., McInnes, L. C., Smith, B. F., and Zhang, H.: PETSc Users Manual, Tech. Rep. ANL-95/11 – Revision 3.0.0, Argonne National Laboratory, available at: (last access: 2 March 2017), 2008. a
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. Lond. A Mat., 468, 913–931,, 2012. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Benn, D. I., Hulton, N. R., and Mottram, R. H.: `Calving laws', `sliding laws' and the stability of tidewater glaciers, Ann. Glaciol., 46, 123–130, 2007a. a, b
Benn, D. I., Warren, C. R., and Mottram, R. H.: Calving processes and the dynamics of calving glaciers, Earth-Sci. Rev., 82, 143–179,, 2007b. a, b
Short summary
This study investigates the effect of geometrical properties on the stress state and flow regime in the vicinity of the calving front of grounded tidewater glaciers. Our analysis shows that the stress state for simple geometries can be determined solely by the water depth relative to ice thickness. This scaled relationship allows for a simple parametrization to predict calving rates of grounded tidewater glaciers that is simple, physics-based and in good agreement with observations.