Abstract

The rock-glacier debris transport system is mathematically linked to its bedrock-cliff source area by combining expressions for debris input and rock-glacier flow with a continuity equation. Numerical solutions are achieved by computer simulation, given the initial conditions of a 295-m cliff and a 10-m basal talus. Resulting system configurations depend upon rockwall weathering rate and rock-glacier flow resistance, as well as the type (viscous or pseudoplastic) of rock-glacier deformation.

Steady-state equilibrium is achieved more quickly under pseudoplastic flow, but for given rates of rockwall retreat and flow resistance, steady-state rock glaciers tend to be larger and more powerful under viscous flow. When rock-glacier development is simulated under the assumption of cyclic climatic fluctuation, resulting geometries are similar for viscous and pseudoplastic flow. However, the rock-glacier output response to debris input is shown to be less lagged and less amplified under pseudoplastic flow.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.