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Publication Date
9 March 2022

Geometric remapping of particle distributions in the Discrete Element Model for Sea Ice (DEMSI v0.0)



A new sea ice dynamical core, the Discrete Element Model for Sea Ice (DEMSI), is under development for use in coupled Earth system models. DEMSI is based on the discrete element method, which models collections of ice floes as interacting Lagrangian particles. In basin-scale sea ice simulations the Lagrangian motion results in significant convergence and ridging, which requires periodic remapping of sea ice variables from a deformed particle configuration back to an undeformed initial distribution. At the resolution required for Earth system models we cannot resolve individual sea ice floes, so we adopt the sub-grid-scale thickness distribution used in continuum sea ice models. This choice leads to a series of hierarchical tracers depending on ice fractional area or concentration that must be remapped consistently. The circular discrete elements employed in DEMSI help improve the computational efficiency at the cost of increased complexity in the effective element area definitions for sea ice cover that are required for the accurate enforcement of conservation. An additional challenge is the accurate remapping of element values along the ice edge, the location of which varies due to the Lagrangian motion of the particles. In this paper we describe a particle-to-particle remapping approach based on well-established geometric remapping ideas that enforces conservation, bounds preservation, and compatibility between associated tracer quantities, while also robustly managing remapping at the ice edge. One element of the remapping algorithm is a novel optimization-based flux correction that enforces concentration bounds in the case of nonuniform motion. We demonstrate the accuracy and utility of the algorithm in a series of numerical test cases.

Turner, Adrian K., Kara J. Peterson, and Dan Stefan Bolintineanu. 2022. “Geometric Remapping Of Particle Distributions In The Discrete Element Model For Sea Ice (Demsi V0.0)”. Geoscientific Model Development 15 (5). Copernicus GmbH: 1953-1970. doi:10.5194/gmd-15-1953-2022.
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