Adaptive mesh refinement versus subgrid friction interpolation in simulations of Antarctic ice dynamics

Stephen Cornford, Daniel Martin, Victoria Lee, Tony Payne, Esmond Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

20 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

At least in conventional hydrostatic ice-sheet models, the numerical error associated with grounding line dynamics can be reduced by modifications to the discretization scheme. These involve altering the integration formulae for the basal traction and/or driving stress close to the grounding line and exhibit lower – if still first-order – error in the MISMIP3d experiments. MISMIP3d may not represent the variety of real ice streams, in that it lacks strong lateral stresses, and imposes a large basal traction at the grounding line. We study resolution sensitivity in the context of extreme forcing simulations of the entire Antarctic ice sheet, using the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice-sheet model with two schemes: the original treatment, and a scheme, which modifies the discretization of the basal traction. The second scheme does indeed improve accuracy – by around a factor of two – for a given mesh spacing, but $\lesssim 1$ km resolution is still necessary. For example, in coarser resolution simulations Thwaites Glacier retreats so slowly that other ice streams divert its trunk. In contrast, with $\lesssim 1$ km meshes, the same glacier retreats far more quickly and triggers the final phase of West Antarctic collapse a century before any such diversion can take place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Volume57
Issue number73
Early online date13 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

accepted for publication on 12 Jan 2016

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  • Projects

    CPOM 2014-2019

    Payne, A. J.

    1/04/1431/10/19

    Project: Research

    USING INTER-GLACIALS TO ASSESS FUTURE SEA-LEVEL SCENARIOS (iGlass)

    Payne, A. J., Lunt, D. J., Siddall, M. & Singarayer, J. S.

    1/06/111/04/16

    Project: Research

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