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Keila Vance
Computer Science
Jackson State University
Shrae Ashley
Jarvis Christian College

         The ECSU Summer 2006 Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) Holistic Ice Sheet Modeling Team studied a first-order analytic model of a continental ice sheet, based on balancing gravitational pressure forces against internal compressive and tensile stresses and externally applied basal and side shearing stresses, to derive structural characteristics of a continental ice sheet. A simplified first-order model for ice thickness, based only on geometric force balance considerations were compared to ice thickness data obtained by an aerial ice penetrating RADAR survey of the Antarctic's Byrd Ice Stream The first-order model results were compared to those of a higher order analytic approximation used to interpret the data.
         The simple first-order model may be expanded to include mass balance considerations and a parameterized description of coupling between the ice basal surface and bed texture roughness and topography. The expanded first-order model would yield insight into the dynamic variations in ice sheet and ice stream behavior resulting from changes in ice accumulation and ablation rates that may be possible consequences of Global Climate Warming. The full, first-order model yields insight into ice sheet evolution from its genesis as a grounded continental sheet frozen to its bed, to a partially grounded ice stream flowing to its terminus: a calving ice shelf.