skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on April 26, 2023

Title: Tidal Modulation of Ice Streams: Effect of Periodic Sliding Velocity on Ice Friction and Healing
Basal slip along glaciers and ice streams can be significantly modified by external time-dependent forcing, although it is not clear why some systems are more sensitive to tidal stresses. We have conducted a series of laboratory experiments to explore the effect of time varying load point velocity on ice-on-rock friction. Varying the load point velocity induces shear stress forcing, making this an analogous simulation of aspects of ice stream tidal modulation. Ambient pressure, double-direct shear experiments were conducted in a cryogenic servo-controlled biaxial deformation apparatus at temperatures between −2°C and −16°C. In addition to a background, median velocity (1 and 10 μm/s), a sinusoidal velocity was applied to the central sliding sample over a range of periods and amplitudes. Normal stress was held constant over each run (0.1, 0.5 or 1 MPa) and the shear stress was measured. Over the range of parameters studied, the full spectrum of slip behavior from creeping to slow-slip to stick-slip was observed, similar to the diversity of sliding styles observed in Antarctic and Greenland ice streams. Under conditions in which the amplitude of oscillation is equal to the median velocity, significant healing occurs as velocity approaches zero, causing a high-amplitude change in friction. The amplitude of more » the event increases with increasing period (i.e. hold time). At high normal stress, velocity oscillations force an otherwise stable system to behave unstably, with consistently-timed events during every cycle. Rate-state friction parameters determined from velocity steps show that the ice-rock interface is velocity strengthening. A companion paper describes a method of analyzing the oscillatory data directly. Forward modeling of a sinusoidally-driven slider block, using rate-and-state dependent friction formulation and experimentally derived parameters, successfully predicts the experimental output in all but a few cases. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1854629 1245871
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10325103
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Earth Science
Volume:
10
ISSN:
2296-6463
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Observations of glacier slip over till beds, across a range of spatial and temporal scales, show abundant seismicity ranging from Mw∼−2 microearthquakes and tremor (submeter asperities and millisecond duration) to Mw∼7 slow-slip events (∼50  km rupture lengths and ∼30  min durations). A complete understanding of the mechanisms capable of producing seismic signals in these environments represents a strong constraint on bed conditions. In particular, there is a lack of experimental confirmation of velocity-weakening behavior of ice slipping on till, where friction decreases with increasing velocity—a necessity for nucleating seismic slip. To measure the frictional strength and stability of ice sliding against till, we performed a series of double-direct-shear experiments at controlled temperatures slightly above and below the ice melting point. Our results confirm velocity-strengthening ice–till slip at melting temperatures, as has been found in the few previous studies. We provide best-fit rate-and-state friction parameters and their standard deviations from averaging 13 experiments at equivalent conditions. We find evidence of similar velocity-strengthening behavior with 50% by volume debris-laden ice slid against till under the same conditions. In contrast, velocity-weakening and linear time-dependent healing of ice–till slip is present at temperatures slightly below the melting point, providing an experimentally supported mechanism for subglacialmore »seismicity on soft-beds. The stability parameter (a−b) decreases with slip velocity, and evolution occurs over large (mm scale) displacements, suggesting that shear heating and melt buildup is responsible for the weakening. These measurements provide insight into subglacial stiffness in which seismicity of this type might be expected. We discuss glaciological circumstances pointing to potential field targets in which to test this frozen seismic asperity hypothesis.« less
  2. Abstract Theory and experiments indicate that ice–bed separation during glacier slip over 2-D hard beds causes basal shear stress to reach a maximum at a particular slip velocity and decrease at higher velocities. We use the sliding theory of Lliboutry (1968) to explore how friction between debris particles in sliding ice and a rock bed affects this relationship between shear stress and slip velocity. Particle–bed contact forces and associated debris friction increase with increasing slip velocity, owing to increased rates of ice convergence with up-glacier facing surfaces. However, debris friction on diminished areas of the bed counteracts this effect as cavities grow. Thus, friction from debris alone increases only slightly with slip velocity, and for sediment particles larger than ~60 mm in diameter, debris friction peaks and decreases with increasing slip velocity. The effect on the sliding relationship is to steepen its rising limb and shift its shear stress peak to a slightly higher velocity. These results, which exclude the effect of debris friction on cavity size and debris concentrations above ~15%, indicate that the effect of debris in ice is to increase basal shear stress but not significantly change the form of the sliding relationship.
  3. Water ice Ih exhibits brittle behavior when rapidly loaded. Under tension, it fails via crack nucleation and propagation. Compressive failure is more complicated. Under low confinement, cracks slide and interact to form a frictional (Coulombic) fault. Under high confinement, frictional sliding is suppressed and adiabatic heating through crystallographic slip leads to the formation of a plastic fault. The coefficient of static friction increases with time under load, owing to creep of asperities in contact. The coefficient of kinetic (dynamic) friction, set by the ratio of asperity shear strength to hardness, increases with velocity at lower speeds and decreases at higher speeds as contacts melt through frictional heating. Microcracks, upon reaching a critical number density (which near the ductile-to-brittle transition is nearly constant above a certain strain rate), form a pathway for percolation. Additional work is needed on the effects of porosity and crack healing. ▪ An understanding of brittle failure is essential to better predict the integrity of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers and the tectonic evolution of the icy crusts of Enceladus, Europa, and other extraterrestrial satellites. ▪ Fundamental to the brittle failure of ice is the initiation and propagation of microcracks, frictional sliding across crack faces,more »and localization of strain through both crack interaction and adiabatic heating.« less
  4. Monitoring the frictional behavior of rock discontinuities is essential for the identification of potential natural hazards caused by mechanical instability. Active seismic monitoring of changes in transmitted and/or reflected compressional (P) and shear (S) waves has been used as a non-destructive method to assess the degree of damage inside rock and to monitor slip along a discontinuity. The objective of this study is to explore the geophysical response of a saturated rock joint undergoing shear. Laboratory shear tests are conducted on prismatic Indiana limestone specimens. Induced tension fractures resulted in specimens composed of two blocks (152.4 mm  127.0 mm  50.8 mm) with rough contact surfaces. Direct shear experiments were performed inside a metal confinement chamber under an effective normal stress of 2 MPa on water-saturated specimens. During the experiments, the chamber pressure, the total normal load, the shear load and the slip displacement were monitored. During the tests, continuous pulses of P- and S-waves were transmitted through the specimen and the amplitudes of the transmitted and reflected waves were recorded. The paper provides results of the mechanical and geophysical response of saturated joints and compares them with those obtained from similar, but dry, joints. For dry joints, bothmore »transmitted and reflected P- and S-waves show a distinct peak wave amplitude prior to shear failure. However, for saturated joints, a distinct peak in amplitude is only observed in both transmitted and reflected S-waves. Transmitted and reflected P-waves, propagated through saturated rock, displayed a continuous decrease and increase in amplitude, respectively, but had a sudden change in the rate of amplitude change that can be taken as a seismic precursor to joint shear failure.« less
  5. Fault friction is central to understanding earthquakes, yet laboratory rock mechanics experiments are restricted to, at most, meter scale. Questions thus remain as to the applicability of measured frictional properties to faulting in situ. In particular, the slip-weakening distance d c strongly influences precursory slip during earthquake nucleation, but scales with fault roughness and is challenging to extrapolate to nature. The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii, caused 62 repeatable collapse events in which the summit caldera dropped several meters, accompanied by M W 4.7 to 5.4 very long period (VLP) earthquakes. Collapses were exceptionally well recorded by global positioning system (GPS) and tilt instruments and represent unique natural kilometer-scale friction experiments. We model a piston collapsing into a magma reservoir. Pressure at the piston base and shear stress on its margin, governed by rate and state friction, balance its weight. Downward motion of the piston compresses the underlying magma, driving flow to the eruption. Monte Carlo estimation of unknowns validates laboratory friction parameters at the kilometer scale, including the magnitude of steady-state velocity weakening. The absence of accelerating precollapse deformation constrains d c to be ≤ 10 mm, potentially much less. These results support the use of laboratory frictionmore »laws and parameters for modeling earthquakes. We identify initial conditions and material and magma-system parameters that lead to episodic caldera collapse, revealing that small differences in eruptive vent elevation can lead to major differences in eruption volume and duration. Most historical basaltic caldera collapses were, at least partly, episodic, implying that the conditions for stick–slip derived here are commonly met in nature.« less