Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Research article
24 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 24 Jan 2023

Timescales of outlet-glacier flow with negligible basal friction: theory, observations and modeling

Johannes Feldmann and Anders Levermann

Data sets

Idealized simulations of marine ice sheet instability Johannes Feldmann

MEaSUREs BedMachine Antarctica, Version 1 M. Morlighem

MEaSUREs Phase-Based Antarctica Ice Velocity Map, Version 1 J. Mouginot, E. Rignot, and B. Scheuchl

Model code and software

PISM code for modeling instability timescales PISM authors

Short summary
Here we present a scaling relation that allows the comparison of the timescales of glaciers with geometric similarity. According to the relation, thicker and wider glaciers on a steeper bed slope have a much faster timescale than shallower, narrower glaciers on a flatter bed slope. The relation is supported by observations and simplified numerical simulations. We combine the scaling relation with a statistical analysis of the topography of 13 instability-prone Antarctic outlet glaciers.