The Cryosphere Discuss., 7, 1029-1074, 2013
www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/7/1029/2013/
doi:10.5194/tcd-7-1029-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in TC.
Data assimilation and prognostic whole ice-sheet modelling with the variationally derived, higher-order, open source, and fully parallel ice sheet model VarGlaS
D. J. Brinkerhoff and J. V. Johnson
University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA

Abstract. We introduce a novel, higher order, finite element ice sheet model called VarGlaS (Variational Glacier Simulator). Contrary to standard procedure in ice sheet modelling, VarGlaS formulates ice sheet motion as the minimization of an energy functional, conferring advantages such as a consistent platform for making numerical approximations, a coherent relationship between motion and heat generation, and implicit boundary treatment. VarGlaS also solves the equations of enthalpy rather than temperature, avoiding the solution of a contact problem. Rather than include a lengthy model spin-up procedure, VarGlaS possesses an automated framework for model inversion. These capabilities are brought to bear on several benchmark problems in ice sheet modelling, as well as a 500 yr simulation of the Greenland ice sheet at high resolution. VarGlaS performs well in benchmarking experiments, and given a constant climate, predicts an overall mass evolution of the Greenland ice sheet that matches well with observational data.

Citation: Brinkerhoff, D. J. and Johnson, J. V.: Data assimilation and prognostic whole ice-sheet modelling with the variationally derived, higher-order, open source, and fully parallel ice sheet model VarGlaS, The Cryosphere Discuss., 7, 1029-1074, doi:10.5194/tcd-7-1029-2013, 2013.
 
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