Project Information
The Effects of Impurities on the Flow of Polycrystalline Ice
Start Date:
End Date:
This award is for support for three years of funding to study the effects of impurities on the flow of poly-
crystalline ice. It has been known for thirty years that both hydrofluoric acid (HF) and hydrochloric acid (HCl) dramatically decrease the strength of ice and recent work by the author's group has shown that sulfuric acid (H2SO4) produces a similar reduction in strength. However, these data are for single crystals at strain rates and stresses that far exceed those found in glaciers and ice sheets, and often at concentrations that far exceed those in natural ice. Therefore, it is not known how impurities found in nature affect the flow of polycrystalline ice at slow strain rates. In this research, the effects of nitric acid and sulfuric acid (which are naturally occurring impurities in ice) on the microstructure (dislocation structure, grain boundary structure and location of the acids) and creep of polycrystalline ice (at a range of temperatures and stresses) will be determined. The ice's response to creep deformation will be studied using a combination of x-ray topography, optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. X-ray microanalysis in an environmental scanning electron microscope will be used to study the location of impurities. The structure and creep behavior of the acid-doped ice will be compared with those of both high-purity laboratory-grown ice and ice from Byrd Station, Antarctica. The end-result of this project will be to elucidate the effects of naturally-occurring acid impurities on the mechanical properties of polycrystalline ice under conditions relevant to the deformation of glaciers and ice sheets, including and understanding of how impurities affect the underlying deformation mechanisms.
Person Role
Baker, Ian Investigator
Obbard, Rachel Co-Investigator
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 9980379
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided

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