Articles | Volume 15, issue 9
Research article
29 Sep 2021
Research article |  | 29 Sep 2021

The role of grain size evolution in the rheology of ice: implications for reconciling laboratory creep data and the Glen flow law

Mark D. Behn, David L. Goldsby, and Greg Hirth

Data sets

Greenland Summit Ice Cores CD-ROM as zip-archive GRIP/GISP; GRIP Members

Short summary
Grain size is a key microphysical property of ice, controlling the rheological behavior of ice sheets and glaciers. In this study, we develop a new model for grain size evolution in ice and show that it accurately predicts grain size in laboratory experiments and in natural ice core data. The model provides a physical explanation for the power-law relationship between stress and strain rate known as the Glen law and can be used as a predictive tool for modeling ice flow in natural systems.