Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 673–684, 2010
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 673–684, 2010

Research article 01 Dec 2010

Research article | 01 Dec 2010

A viscoelastic Rivlin-Ericksen material model applicable to glacier ice

P. Riesen1, K. Hutter2, and M. Funk1 P. Riesen et al.
  • 1Versuchsanstalt für Wasserbau, Hydrologie und Glaziologie (VAW), ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Bergstrasse 5, 8044 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. We present a viscoelastic constitutive relation which describes transient creep of a modified second grade fluid enhanced with elastic properties of a solid. The material law describes a Rivlin-Ericksen material and is a generalization of existing material laws applied to study the viscoelastic properties of ice. The intention is to provide a formulation tailored to reproduce the viscoelastic behaviour of ice ranging from the instantaneous elastic response, to recoverable deformation, to viscous, stationary flow at the characteristic minimum creep rate associated with the deformation of polycrystalline ice. We numerically solve the problem of a slab of material shearing down a uniformly inclined plate. The equations are made dimensionless in a form in which elastic effects and/or the influence of higher order terms (i.e., strain accelerations) can be compared with viscous creep at the minimum creep rate by means of two dimensionless parameters. We discuss the resulting material behaviour and the features exhibited at different parameter combinations. Also, a viable range of the non-dimensional parameters is estimated in the scale analysis.