Articles | Volume 16, issue 1
Research article
14 Jan 2022
Research article |  | 14 Jan 2022

On the contribution of grain boundary sliding type creep to firn densification – an assessment using an optimization approach

Timm Schultz, Ralf Müller, Dietmar Gross, and Angelika Humbert

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Cited articles

Alley, R. B.: Firn Densification by Grain-Boundary-Sliding: A First Model, Journal de Physique, 48, C1-249–C1-256,, 1987. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, aa, ab, ac, ad, ae, af, ag, ah, ai, aj, ak, al, am, an, ao, ap, aq
Amante, C. and Eakins, B. W.: ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis, NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA,, 2009. a
Anderson, D. L. and Benson, C. S.: Ice and Snow: Properties, Processes and Applications, in: chap. The densification and diagenesis of snow, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 391–411, ISBN 13 978-0262110099, 1963. a
Arnaud, L., Barnola, J. M., and Duval, P.: Physical modeling of the densification of snow/firn and ice in the upper part of polar ice sheets, Physics of Ice Core Records, 285–305, available at: (last access: 13 January 2022), 2000. a, b, c
Arndt, J. E., Schenke, H. W., Jakobsson, M., Nitsche, F. O., Buys, G., Goleby, B., Rebesco, M., Bohoyo, F., Hong, J., Black, J., Greku, R., Udintsev, G., Barrios, F., Reynoso-Peralta, W., Taisei, M., and Wigley, R.: The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Version 1.0 – A new bathymetric compilation covering circum-Antarctic waters, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3111–3117,, 2013. a
Short summary
Firn is the interstage product between snow and ice. Simulations describing the process of firn densification are used in the context of estimating mass changes of the ice sheets and past climate reconstructions. The first stage of firn densification takes place in the upper few meters of the firn column. We investigate how well a material law describing the process of grain boundary sliding works for the numerical simulation of firn densification in this stage.