Articles | Volume 15, issue 9
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-4589-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-4589-2021
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

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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.