Theory of Floating Ice Sheets
In ice sheets, extensions in horizontal direction are very much larger than perpendicular to it, suggesting a two-dimensional approximate analysis. It is indicated how the usual plate models for stress analyses can be derived from general approximating techniques, and how two-dimensional descriptions for thermo-mechanical interactions in floating ice sheets are obtained. A “plate model” for the thermal response of an ice shelf is thus derived. The governing equations include accumulation at the top and phase change at the bottom and take convection and dissipation into account. An analysis of the steady state response is presented, and the response of the shelf to climatic conditions is determined. Generalizations to time-dependent situations are indicated.
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