James R. Rice Speaks at Second Annual J. D. Achenbach Lecture, May 16 2014

Dr. James RiceThe second Jan D. Achenbach Lecture was delivered by Dr. James R. Rice on May 16, 2014.  Dr. Rice is the Mallinckrodt Professor Engineering Science and Geophysics at Harvard University, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a member of the National Academy of Science.  Professor Rice’s lecture was on the “Mechanics on the Great Ice Sheets”.  Professor Rice and his research team utilize the concepts of solid and fluid mechanics, integrated with materials and thermal sciences to address the large-scale phenomena of flow, fracture, and hydrology on our planet’s major ice sheets.  Specific applications include:  (a) large iceberg calving as the enigmatic source of the long-period glacial earthquakes identified along the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet; (b) rapid glacial underflooding events as natural hydraulic fracture in Greenland; and (c) partial internal melting from shear heating as a control on flow resistance as a control on flow resistance at the margins of the rapidly flowing (> 100 m/yr) ice streams on the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet.  These studies are part of a global effort to better quantify expected ice mass loss rates, related sea-level rise, and ice-sheet effects from, and on, changes in the climate system.