As an ice sheet slides over its sediment bed, some clasts partly embedded in the glacier sole plow through the bed surface. The size distribution of such clasts, if it can be characterized from structures in the geologic record, can be used to estimate the sliding velocity of a past ice sheet. By combining a theory of glacier sliding with a geotechnical theory of cone penetration, sliding velocity can be calculated in terms of clast-size parameters, a fluidity parameter for ice, and the thermodynamic prop…
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