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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-23
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-23
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 27 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

A mass conserving formalism for ice sheet, solid Earth and sea level interaction

Surendra Adhikari, Erik R. Ivins, Eric Larour, Lambert Caron, and Helene Seroussi Surendra Adhikari et al.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

Abstract. Polar ice sheets are important components of any Earth System model. As the domains of land, ocean, and ice sheet change, they must be consistently defined within the lexicon of geodesy. Understanding the interplay between the processes such as ice sheet dynamics, solid Earth deformation, and sea level adjustment requires both consistent and mass conserving descriptions of evolving land and ocean domains, grounded and floating ice masks, coastlines and grounding lines, and bedrock and geoid height as viewed from space. Here we present a geometric description of an evolving ice sheet margin and its relations to sea level change, the position and loading of the solid Earth and include the ice shelves and adjacent ocean mass. We generalize the formulation so that it is applied to arbitrarily distributed ice, bedrock and adjacent ocean, and their interactive evolution. The formalism simplifies computational strategies that seek to conserve mass in Earth System models.

Surendra Adhikari et al.

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Surendra Adhikari et al.

Surendra Adhikari et al.

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Latest update: 27 May 2020
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Short summary
The mathematical formalism presented in this paper aims at simplifying computational strategies that seek to conserve mass in Earth System models. We define a set of generic, and quite simple, descriptions of evolving land, ocean and ice margins that handle complex features such as rugged coastlines or grounding lines, ice rises and rumples, and retrograde bedrock slopes. We deduce a unified approach to determine the exact fraction of ice thickness change that contributes to sea level.
The mathematical formalism presented in this paper aims at simplifying computational strategies...
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