The frictional strength of ice seems to be well below that for all other rocks. Triaxial testing of cylinders of pure water ice containing a 45° inclined sawcut, at temperatures of 77 ≤ T ≤ 115 K and confining pressures 0.1 ≤ P ≤ 250 MPa, reveals the frictional laws τ = 0.20 σn + 8.3 MPa for P ≥ 10 MPa and τ = 0.55 σn + 1.0 MPa for P ≤ 5 MPa, where τ and σn are the shear and normal stresses on the sawcut surface. Friction is independent of T and, over the one order of magnitude tested, of average sliding velocity. The sliding behavior is invariably stick slip. Examination of sliding surfaces shows only minor gouge development. A curious arrangement of densely packed short vertical fractures occurs primarily in samples with anomalously low strength. These results apply to models of near‐surface tectonic activity on Jupiter's three large icy moons, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede. They indicate, for example, that a global expansion on Ganymede of 3 linear percent will cause extensional movement on preexisting faults at depths to 7±3 km.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Friction of ice|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Contributing office(s)||Earthquake Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|