The creep response is obtained for an inhomogeneous beam, with simple end supports, resting on a liquid foundation and subjected to a sinusoidally distributed load. The Norton-Bailey constitutive equations are used to describe secondary creep behavior and elastic effects are retained. The liquid foundation is taken as a continuous Winkler support. The beam cross section is replaced by a double-membrane model. The implications are discussed of using stress or deflection failure criteria in determining the magnitude of the instantaneous breakthrough load. The linear viscoelastic as well as nonlinear creep beam response is obtained explicitly. The influence of the beam geometric and material characteristics and of the presence of the liquid foundation on the growth of the deflections with time is discussed. The variation of the breakthrough load with failure time is also explored. Results obtained are compared with available sea ice laboratory test data.

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