Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

A New Ice-sheet / Ocean Interaction Model for Greenland Fjords using High-Order Discontinuous Galerkin Methods

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 08:00
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One of the key outstanding challenges in modeling of climate change and sea-level rise is the ice-sheet/ocean interaction in narrow, elongated and geometrically complicated fjords around Greenland. To address this challenge we propose a new approach, a separate fjord model using discontinuous Galerkin (DG) methods, or FDG. The goal of this project is to build a separate, high-resolution module for use in Earth System Models (ESMs) to realistically represent the fjord bathymetry, coastlines, exchanges with the outside ocean, circulation and fine-scale processes occurring within the fjord and interactions at the ice shelf interface.FDG is currently at the first stage of development. The DG method provides FDG with high-order accuracy as well as geometrical flexibility, including the capacity to handle non-conforming adaptive mesh refinement to resolve the processes occurring near the ice-sheet/ocean interface without introducing prohibitive computational costs. Another benefit of this method is its excellent performance on multi- and many-core architectures, which allows for utilizing modern high performance computing systems for high-resolution simulations. The non-hydrostatic model of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation will account for the stationary ice-shelf with sub-shelf ocean interaction, basal melting and subglacial meltwater influx and with boundary conditions at the surface to account for floating sea ice. The boundary conditions will be provided to FDG via a flux coupler to emulate the integration with an ESM.Initially, FDG will be tested for the Sermilik Fjord settings, using real bathymetry, boundary and initial conditions, and evaluated against available observations and other model results for this fjord. The overarching goal of the project is to be able to resolve the ice-sheet/ocean interactions around the entire coast of Greenland and two-way coupling with regional and global climate models such as the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), Community Earth System Model (CESM) or Advanced Climate Model for Energy (ACME).

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