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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology