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Free boundary problems in glacial hydrology

Dallaston, M (University of Oxford)
Thursday 26 June 2014, 10:20-10:50

Seminar Room 2, Newton Institute Gatehouse


Many aspects of a glacierís dynamics depend on the evolution of an interface between slowly creeping ice and fast flowing water. As ice can be modelled as a very viscous fluid, variations on free boundary Stokes flow arise in the modelling of such interfaces. In this talk I will focus on the shape of a channel that is cut through or under the ice by viscous dissipation of meltwater. Networks of these channels form a vital part of a glacierís hydrological system, which carries meltwater from the surface to the glacier margin, where mixing with dense ocean water has a strong effect on melting at the ice face. The evolving cross section of the channel is related to the problem of a contracting or expanding bubble in two dimensional Stokes flow, which allows us to derive analytic results. I will also discuss the impact of a meltwater source, such as a channel, on the spatial distribution of melting at the ice face.


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