Toward a new non-hydrostatic ice-sheet/ocean interaction model (NUMO) for Greenland fjords

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 13:40
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Ice-sheet/ocean interaction in Greenland is one of the key outstanding challenges in climate modeling, yet present-day climate models are not able to resolve fine-scale processes in the fjords. This is due to orders of magnitude difference in spatial scales between the open ocean (~1000km) and fjord (<1km) as well as small-scale processes at the glacier terminus, complicated bathymetry and coastline.

We will present progress of the NUMO project, which goal is to develop a non-hydrostatic ocean model able to resolve ice-sheet / ocean interactions, circulation within the fjord and exchanges with the ocean. Recent developments include simplified 3D fjord simulations with prescribed subglacial discharge, as well as prescribed velocity, temperature and salinity profiles at the interface with the open ocean.

An unstructured mesh is used to realistically represent the geometry of the fjord, while in the areas of particular importance (i.e. glacier front) the resolution is increased by non-conforming mesh refinement. NUMO models the ocean using the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations discretized with unified continuous/discontinuous Galerkin method. The long-term goal is to simulate all Greenland’s fjords with NUMO and to couple it to ice-sheet and ocean model components within regional or global Earth System Models.

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