The deflection of an infinite ice sheet by a submerged gas source, as would result from an undersea gas or oil well blowout is analysed utilizing an elastic thin plate model. The results show that fracture may occur either at the bubble center or just beyond the bubble edge, depending upon the bubble depth, the ice thickness, and the material properties assumed for the ice sheet. For ice one meter in thickness and a trapped gas depth greater than 100 mm, fracture at the bubble edge is probable. The critical bubble radius for failure varies rapidly with ice thickness, bubble depth, and the ice properties, which in view of the variability of the latter, makes the prediction of actual bubble radii to cause failure subject to a large degree of uncertainty.

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