Data Set ID:

Laboratory Study of Stick-Slip Behavior and Deformation Mechanics of Subglacial Till, Version 1

This data set includes the results of laboratory experiments examining the constitutive properties of subglacial till, under dynamic stressing. The data include the results of shear strain and stress experiments. Testing was carried out in a servo-controlled biaxial shear device under controlled temperature and stress conditions, allowing both sliding and microstructural processes to be studied in detail. Till samples were collected from Matanuska, Alaska and from Caesar till at the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

The data are available via FTP in ASCII text format (.txt).

NSIDC does not archive these data.

  • Soils > Soil Mechanics > SOIL MECHANICS
Data Format(s):
Spatial Coverage:
N: 61.781667, 
N: 61.779444, 
N: 40.067222, 
S: 61.781667, 
S: 61.779444, 
S: 40.067222, 
E: -147.753056, 
E: 147.758889, 
E: -83.006944, 
W: -147.753056
W: 147.758889
W: -83.006944
Spatial Resolution:Not SpecifiedSensor(s):PRESSURE TRANSDUCERS
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2007
Temporal ResolutionNot specifiedMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Chris Marone, Sridhar Anandakrishnan

Geographic Coverage

Please contact the data provider for the correct Data Citation for this data set.

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Detailed Data Description


Data are in ASCII text format (.txt). Figures are available in Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. Within this directory, there is a Microsoft word document, ExperimentTable.doc, that lists the conditions for each experiment in the data set.

Table 1. Directory Description
Directory Description
Creep_Experiments Constant shear stress experiments
Friction_Experiments Constant shear velocity experiments
Figure_Data Data files used to produce the figures in Rathbun, et. al.
Figure_Images Figure image files from Rathbun, et. al., in Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) format.
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File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention and as described in Table 2:



Table 2. File Naming Convention
Variable Description
pXXX Experiment number, where XXX indicates a number between 491 and 1261 (Experiment numbers in this data set are not sequential.)
s Contact area size: 
Lowercase "s" indicates a 5 cm x 5 cm contact area. 
Uppercase "S" indicates a 10 cm x 10 cm contact area.
Y Initial layer thickness, in mm
t Till
r Rough boundaries
z Normal stress in MPa
.bin File extension

Example: p490s10tr.5.txt contains data from experiment number p490, with 5 cm x 5 cm contact area, 10 mm layer thickness, till with roughened edges, at 0.5 MPa normal stress.

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File Size

Files range in size from 250 KB to 3438 KB.

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The total volume of this data set is 20.5 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

These data were collected during laboratory experiments, using till collected from three sites:

Matanuska Glacier Till Sample 2:
Southernmost Latitude: 61°46.907' N
Northernmost Latitude: 61°46.907' N
Westernmost Longitude: 147°45.178' W
Easternmost Longitude: 147°45.178' W

Matanuska Glacier Till Sample 4:
Southernmost Latitude: 61°46.766' N
Northernmost Latitude: 61°46.766' N
Westernmost Longitude: 147°45.537' W
Easternmost Longitude: 147°45.1537' W

Caesar Till:
Southernmost Latitude: 40°4'2" N
Northernmost Latitude: 40°4'2" N
Westernmost Longitude: 83°00'25" W
Easternmost Longitude: 83°00'25" W

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Parameter or Variable

This data set contains the results of laboratory experiments on shear stress and strain. Parameters include shear stress, shear strain, time, and layer thickness. Creep experiments were conducted under controlled shear stress to investigate the time-dependent deformational or creep behavior of till, with an inital layer thickness of 10 mm. Friction experiments were conducted with constant shear velocity, in order to find the shear strength and rate-dependent strength of till.

Parameter Description

Table 3. Parameter Description
Parameter Description
Creep Experiments
Shear Strain Shear strain, controlled in creep experiments.
Shear Stress (MPa) Shear stress, in megapascals (MPa)
Time Time in seconds
Friction Experiments
Rec Record number
Shear_str Shear strength, determined at a constant shear velocity
Shear_stress Shear stress, in megapascals (MPa)
Layer_thick Layer thickness, in micrometers (uM)
Norm_stress Normal stress, in megapascals (MPa)
Time Time in seconds
Friction Friction

Sample Data Record

Sample data record from p538.txt. This sample shows only the first four records in the file.

rec shear_str Shear_stress layer_thick Norm_Stress Time Friction
0 0 0 2005 1.00E-07 1 0
1 0 0 2005 1.00E-07 11 0
2 0 0 2005 1.00E-07 21 0
3 0 0 10997 0.0026697 0 0
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Software and Tools

Data are accessible using spreadsheet software. Image files may require image processing software.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Theory of Measurements

For detailed information on the experimental setup, data processing, and potential errors, see Rathbun et al., 2008.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Sridar Anandakrishnan
Department of Geosciences
442 Deike Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802 

Dr. Chris Marone
Department of Geosciences
536 Deike Building 
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802


This research was supported by NSF OPP grant 0440523.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

12 April 2010

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