Glaciers are known to be responsible for some of the fastest erosion rates observed, with basin-scale erosion rates reaching up to 10 mm/yr and varying by orders of magnitude. This variability in erosion rates has yet to be addressed systematically in quantitative terms. While the roles of climatic and topographic parameters such as temperature, precipitation, and glacier slope in determining glacial erosion rates are clearly recognized, these factors have not been related to basin-scale glacial erosion in a systematic and quantitative manner that illuminates the underlying processes and interactions. Early work suggested glacial power, e.g. sliding power, as a first order control on glacial erosion rates but has received little consideration since. Presented is an analytic model of the available glacial power for erosion work expressed directly in terms of climatic and topographic parameters and preliminary results of the model’s utility.
Date of talk: Thursday, July 30, 2015, 1:00 pm EDT