The Effects of Soluble Impurities on the Flow and Fabric of Polycrystalline Ice
This award supports a project to undertake a systematic examination of the effects of soluble impurities, particularly sulfuric acid, on the creep of polycrystalline ice as function of temperature, strain rate and impurity concentration. The working hypothesis is that soluble impurities will increase the flow rate of polycrystalline ice compared to high-purity ice, that this effect will be temperature dependent and that the impurities by affecting the re-crystallization and grain growth will change the fabric of the ice. Both H2SO4-doped and high-purity poly-crystalline ice will be produced by freezing sheets of ice, breaking them up, sieving the ice particles and then sintering them in a mold into fine-grained cylindrical specimens with at least ten grains across their diameter. The resulting microstructures (dislocation structure, grain size and shape, grain boundary character and micro-structural location of the acid) will be characterized using a variety of techniques including: optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, including secondary electron imaging, electron backscattered patterns, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, electron channeling contrast imaging, and X-ray topography. The creep of both the H2SO4-doped and the high-purity polycrystalline ice will be undertaken at a range of temperatures and stresses. The ice?s response to the creep deformation (grain boundary sliding, dislocation motion, re-crystallization, grain boundary migration, impurity redistribution) will be studied using a combination of methods. The creep behavior will be modeled and related to the microstructure. Of particular interest is how impurities affect the activation energy for creep. The intellectual merit of the work is that it will lead to a better understanding of glacier ice and will enable glaciologists to model the influence of impurities on the flow and fabric development in polycrystalline ice. The broader impacts of the project include the knowledge that will be gained of the effects of impurities on the flow of ice which will allow paleoclimatologists to better interpret ice core data and will allow scientists developing predictive models to better address the flow of ice sheets under various climate change scenarios. The project will also lead to the education and training of a Ph.D. student, several undergraduates and some high school students. Results from the research will be published in refereed journals. Several undergraduates, typically two per year, will also perform the work. Dartmouth aggressively courts minority students at all degree levels, and we will seek women or minority group undergraduates for this project. The undergraduates will be supported by Dartmouth?s nationally-honored Women In Science Project or by REU funding. The undergraduates? research will integrate closely with the Ph.D. student?s studies. Hanover High School students will also be involved in the project and develop an educational kit to introduce students to the properties of ice. Results from the research will be published in refereed journals and presented at conferences.
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