A numerical glacier-flow model (finite-element method) is used to suggest the processes that control the flow behind the calving front of a tidewater glacier. The model is developed for grounded calving glaciers and includes an effective-pressure-dependent sliding law. The sliding law is implemented by adding a soft basal layer with a variable viscosity. The model is applied on Hansbreen, a tidewater calving glacier in Svalbard. Comparison between modeled surface velocities and observed velocity data shows good agreement. We conclude that the flow of a grounded calving glacier can be modeled with an effective-pressure-dependent sliding law.