New Computationally Efficient and Accurate Ice Sheet Climate Model Informs Global Sea Level Change


The numerical modeling of glacier and ice sheet evolution is a subject of growing interest, because of the potential for models to inform estimates of global sea level change. DOE-funded researchers have recently developed and published a new ice sheet numerical model for calculating the three-dimensional velocity and pressure fields within a glacier or ice sheet, based on a high-fidelity mathematical model for the full equations of motion in the ice sheet, highly accurate numerical methods, and fast computational methods. The model is verified and validated with standard manufactured and benchmark solutions for ice flow. These same test cases are used to demonstrate the new model’s accuracy and efficiency. Ongoing work will focus on incorporating the new model as a dynamical core with the DOE-developed Model Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) Ice Sheet model that will improve our ability to estimate global sea level change based on changes in glaciers and ice sheets.


Leng, W., J. Lili, M. Gunzburger, S. Price, and T. Ringler. 2012. “A Parallel High-Order Accurate Finite Element Nonlinear Stokes Ice Sheet Model and Benchmark Experiments,” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 117, F1. DOI: 10.1029/2011JF001962.