Meandering of supraglacial melt streams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During periods of glacial ablation, excess water often concentrates in supraglacial melt streams, which typically exhibit meandering. Herein a stability analysis of straight supraglacial streams is carried out to determine the nature of meandering tendencies. Instability leading to meandering in the flow results from a combination of hydrodynamic and differential heating effects. The heat involved is apparently largely frictional. The analysis indicates that instability occurs only for supercritical flow and that the meander pattern does not migrate downstream. Meander wavelength is determined by channel width, depth, and Froude number. The results agree with field observations. Summary and entire article are available on microfiche. Order from American Geophysical Union, 1909 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. Document W‐75‐002; $1.00. Payment must accompany order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-552
Number of pages2
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Meandering of supraglacial melt streams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this