The three-dimensional ice-sheet model of the West Antacrtic Ross Ice Shelf Basin, developed by Budd et al. (1984), has been used to compute basal temperatures and melt rates for a wide range of values of the geothermal flux. Steady state is assumed and ice “balance velocities” are computed from continuity and used in the heat-conduction equation. As the geothermal flux increases, the melt area increases and becomes connected to the water under the Ross Ice Shelf via the major ice streams.The large-scale average surface and bed slopes are used to determine the broadscale pattern of flow of the basal meltwater on the assumption that it flows as a film at the ice-bedrock interface. The total water volume flux for steady state is determined from the basal melt rates and continuity, and the film assumption then allows the mean water film thickness and velocities to be computed. The resulting pattern of steady-state mean water-film thickness is then interpreted in terms of its possible relationships to the basal sliding rates and the basal shear stress particularly under the major ice streams.
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- Numerical Modelling of the Large-Scale Basal Water Flux under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
W. F. Budd
- Springer Netherlands