Ice is a material that exhibits both ductile flow, as in the flow of a glacier, and also brittle fracture, as in the crushing of ice under impact from an icebreaker. This chapter considers laboratory-scale experiments on the deformation of single crystals and of polycrystalline ice and their interpretation. Creep of single crystals occurs by the glide and multiplication of dislocations on the basal plane and is thus highly anisotropic. In polycrystalline specimens deformed under constant load the creep accelerates, reaches a steady state and finally accelerates again. The deformation of individual grains is confined by those around them, and large stresses build up which may be relieved by diffusion or by cracking. The theory of fracture involves both the nucleation of cracks and their propagation.
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