Numerical simulation of the evolution of glacial valley cross sections

H. SEDDIK, R. GREVE, S. SUGIYAMA and R. NARUSE


Abstract

A numerical model was developed for simulating the formation of U-shaped glacial valleys by coupling a two-dimensional ice flow model with an erosion model for a transverse cross section. The erosion model assumes that the erosion rate varies quadratically with sliding speed. We compare the two-dimensional model with a simple shallow-ice approximation model and show the differences in the evolution of a pre-glacial V-shaped valley profile using the two models. We determine the specific role of the lateral shear stresses acting on the glacier side walls in the formation of glacial valleys. By comparing the model results with field data, we find that U-shaped valleys can be formed within 50 ka. A shortcoming of the model is that it primarily simulates the formation of glacial valleys by deepening, whereas observed valleys apparently have formed mainly by widening.


ArXiv E-Prints, arXiv:0901.1177 (2009). URL http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.1177.

 
Last modified: 2013-09-04