Hydrostatic grounding line parameterization in ice sheet models

H. Seroussi, M. Morlighem, E. Larour, E. Rignot, A. Khazendar
2014 The Cryosphere Discussions  
Modeling of grounding line migration is essential to simulate accurately the behavior of marine ice sheets and investigate their stability. Here, we assess the sensitivity of numerical models to the parameterization of the grounding line position. We run the MISMIP3D benchmark experiments using a two-dimensional shelfy-stream approximation (SSA) model with different mesh resolutions and different sub-element parameterizations of grounding line position. Results show that different grounding
more » ... erent grounding line parameterizations lead to different steady state grounding line positions as well as different retreat/advance rates. Our simulations explain why some vertically depth-averaged model simulations exhibited behaviors similar to full-Stokes models in the MISMIP3D benchmark, while the vast majority of simulations based on SSA showed results deviating significantly from full-Stokes results. The results reveal that differences between simulations performed with and without sub-element parameterization are as large as those performed with different approximations of the stress balance equations and that the reversibility test can be passed at much lower resolutions than the steady-state grounding line position. We conclude that fixed grid models that do not employ such a parameterization should be avoided, as they do not provide accurate estimates of grounding line dynamics, even at high spatial resolution. For models that include sub-element grounding line parameterization, a mesh resolution lower than 2 km should be employed.
doi:10.5194/tcd-8-3335-2014 fatcat:gbvaqvd47nhgfmspqwkygjga4u