Possible Mechanisms for Glacial Earthquakes

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Possible Mechanisms for Glacial Earthquakes

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Title: Possible Mechanisms for Glacial Earthquakes
Author: Tsai, Victor C.; Rice, James R.; Fahnestock, Mark

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Citation: Tsai, Victor. C., James R. Rice, and Mark Fahnestock. 2008. Possible mechanisms for glacial earthquakes, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113(F03014):
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Abstract: The large glacial earthquakes reported on by Ekström et al. (2003, 2006) and Tsai and Ekström (2007) have previously been evaluated in terms of their seismic characteristics. In this paper we attempt to take constraints such as known glacial ice properties, outlet glacier size, calving style, and meltwater variability to construct a self-consistent physical model of the glacial earthquake process. Since many glaciological parameters are poorly constrained, we parameterize a number of important processes and estimate a wide range of possible values for some properties. The range of model outputs is thus fairly large, but it is still difficult to match observational constraints under most conditions. We find that only a small class of models is able to satisfy the major observational constraints. These models are characterized by (1) lost basal resistance coupled to viscoelastic deformation with extensive internal crevassing or with low effective elastic modulus and possibly low effective viscosity or (2) by nonequilibrium calving, such as having large icebergs capsize into the glacier front. Although observational constraints cannot definitively rule out any of the proposed classes of mechanisms, the calving model has much stronger support. Fortunately, the various models make different predictions regarding observables that can potentially be measured in the near future.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007JF000944
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2624670
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