Articles | Volume 12, issue 7
Research article 11 Jul 2018
Research article | 11 Jul 2018
A Bayesian hierarchical model for glacial dynamics based on the shallow ice approximation and its evaluation using analytical solutions
Giri Gopalan et al.
No articles found.
Eyjólfur Magnússon, Finnur Pálsson, Magnús T. Gudmundsson, Thórdís Högnadóttir, Cristian Rossi, Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Benedikt G. Ófeigsson, Erik Sturkell, and Tómas Jóhannesson
The Cryosphere, 15, 3731–3749,Short summary
We present a unique insight into the shape and development of a subglacial lake over a 7-year period, using repeated radar survey. The lake collects geothermal meltwater, which is released in semi-regular floods, often referred to as jökulhlaups. The applicability of our survey approach to monitor the water stored in the lake for a better assessment of the potential hazard of jökulhlaups is demonstrated by comparison with independent measurements of released water volume during two jökulhlaups.
Andri Gunnarsson, Sigurdur M. Gardarsson, Finnur Pálsson, Tómas Jóhannesson, and Óli G. B. Sveinsson
The Cryosphere, 15, 547–570,Short summary
Surface albedo quantifies the fraction of the sunlight reflected by the surface of the Earth. During the melt season in the Northern Hemisphere solar energy absorbed by snow- and ice-covered surfaces is mainly controlled by surface albedo. For Icelandic glaciers, air temperature and surface albedo are the dominating factors governing annual variability of glacier surface melt. Satellite data from the MODIS sensor are used to create a data set spanning the glacier melt season.
Anna Wirbel and Alexander Helmut Jarosch
Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 6425–6445,Short summary
We present an open-source numerical tool to simulate the free-surface evolution of gravity-driven flows (e.g. glaciers) constrained by bed topography. No ad hoc post-processing is required to enforce positive ice thickness and mass conservation. We utilise finite elements, define benchmark tests, and showcase glaciological examples. In addition, we provide a thorough analysis of the applicability and robustness of different spatial stabilisation and time discretisation methods.
Jonathan D. Mackay, Nicholas E. Barrand, David M. Hannah, Stefan Krause, Christopher R. Jackson, Jez Everest, Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, and Andrew R. Black
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 1833–1865,Short summary
We project 21st century change and uncertainty in 25 river flow regime metrics (signatures) for a deglaciating river basin. The results show that glacier-fed river flow magnitude, timing and variability are sensitive to climate change and that projection uncertainty stems from incomplete understanding of future climate and glacier-hydrology processes. These findings indicate how impact studies can be better designed to provide more robust projections of river flow regime in glaciated basins.
Fabien Maussion, Anton Butenko, Nicolas Champollion, Matthias Dusch, Julia Eis, Kévin Fourteau, Philipp Gregor, Alexander H. Jarosch, Johannes Landmann, Felix Oesterle, Beatriz Recinos, Timo Rothenpieler, Anouk Vlug, Christian T. Wild, and Ben Marzeion
Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 909–931,Short summary
Mountain glaciers are one of the few remaining subsystems of the global climate system for which no globally applicable community-driven model exists. Here we present the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM; www.oggm.org), developed to provide a modular and open-source numerical model framework for simulating past and future change of any glacier in the world.
Jonathan D. Mackay, Nicholas E. Barrand, David M. Hannah, Stefan Krause, Christopher R. Jackson, Jez Everest, and Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir
The Cryosphere, 12, 2175–2210,Short summary
We apply a framework to compare and objectively accept or reject competing melt and run-off process models. We found no acceptable models. Furthermore, increasing model complexity does not guarantee better predictions. The results highlight model selection uncertainty and the need for rigorous frameworks to identify deficiencies in competing models. The application of this approach in the future will help to better quantify model prediction uncertainty and develop improved process models.
Anna Wirbel, Alexander H. Jarosch, and Lindsey Nicholson
The Cryosphere, 12, 189–204,Short summary
As debris cover affects the meltwater production and behaviour of glaciers it is important to understand how, and over what timescales, it forms. Here we develop an advanced 3-D numerical model that describes transport of sediment through a glacier to the point where it emerges at the surface. The numerical performance of the model is satisfactory and it reproduces debris structures observed within real-world glaciers, thereby offering a useful tool for future studies of debris-covered glaciers.
Louise Steffensen Schmidt, Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Sverrir Guðmundsson, Peter L. Langen, Finnur Pálsson, Ruth Mottram, Simon Gascoin, and Helgi Björnsson
The Cryosphere, 11, 1665–1684,Short summary
The regional climate model HIRHAM5 is evaluated over Vatnajökull, Iceland, using automatic weather stations and mass balance observations from 1995 to 2014. From this we asses whether the model can be used to reconstruct the mass balance of the glacier. We find that the simulated energy balance is underestimated overall, but it has been improved by using a new albedo scheme. The specific mass balance is reconstructed back to 1980, thus expanding on the observational records of the mass balance.
Joaquín M. C. Belart, Etienne Berthier, Eyjólfur Magnússon, Leif S. Anderson, Finnur Pálsson, Thorsteinn Thorsteinsson, Ian M. Howat, Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, Tómas Jóhannesson, and Alexander H. Jarosch
The Cryosphere, 11, 1501–1517,Short summary
Sub-meter satellite stereo images (Pléiades and WorldView2) are used to accurately measure snow accumulation and winter mass balance of Drangajökull ice cap. This is done by creating and comparing accurate digital elevation models. A glacier-wide geodetic mass balance of 3.33 ± 0.23 m w.e. is derived between October 2014 and May 2015. This method could be easily transposable to remote glaciated areas where seasonal mass balance measurements (especially winter accumulation) are lacking.
Monika Wittmann, Christine Dorothea Groot Zwaaftink, Louise Steffensen Schmidt, Sverrir Guðmundsson, Finnur Pálsson, Olafur Arnalds, Helgi Björnsson, Throstur Thorsteinsson, and Andreas Stohl
The Cryosphere, 11, 741–754,Short summary
This work includes a study on the effects of dust deposition on the mass balance of Brúarjökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest ice cap. A model was used to simulate dust deposition on the glacier, and these periods of dust were compared to albedo measurements at two weather stations on Brúarjökull to evaluate the dust impact. We determine the influence of dust events on the snow albedo and the surface energy balance.
B. Marzeion, P. W. Leclercq, J. G. Cogley, and A. H. Jarosch
The Cryosphere, 9, 2399–2404,Short summary
We show that estimates of global glacier mass change during the 20th century, obtained from glacier-length-based reconstructions and from a glacier model driven by gridded climate observations are now consistent with each other and also with an estimate for the years 2003-2009 that is mostly based on remotely sensed data. This consistency is found throughout the entire common periods of the respective data sets. Inconsistencies of reconstructions and observations persist on regional scales.
H. Hannesdóttir, H. Björnsson, F. Pálsson, G. Aðalgeirsdóttir, and Sv. Guðmundsson
The Cryosphere, 9, 565–585,
A. H. Jarosch, C. G. Schoof, and F. S. Anslow
The Cryosphere, 7, 229–240,
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Gunter R. Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, and Xylar S. Asay-Davis
The Cryosphere, 15, 3229–3253,Short summary
We present numerical features of the Community Ice Sheet Model in representing ocean termini glaciers. Using idealized test cases, we show that applying melt in a partly grounded cell is beneficial, in contrast to recent studies. We confirm that parameterizing partly grounded cells yields accurate ice sheet representation at a grid resolution of ~2 km (arguably 4 km), allowing ice sheet simulations at a continental scale. The choice of basal friction law also influences the ice flow.
Jowan M. Barnes, Thiago Dias dos Santos, Daniel Goldberg, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, Mathieu Morlighem, and Jan De Rydt
The Cryosphere, 15, 1975–2000,Short summary
Some properties of ice flow models must be initialised using observed data before they can be used to produce reliable predictions of the future. Different models have different ways of doing this, and the process is generally seen as being specific to an individual model. We compare the methods used by three different models and show that they produce similar outputs. We also demonstrate that the outputs from one model can be used in other models without introducing large uncertainties.
Olalekan Babaniyi, Ruanui Nicholson, Umberto Villa, and Noémi Petra
The Cryosphere, 15, 1731–1750,Short summary
We consider the problem of inferring unknown parameter fields under additional uncertainty for an ice sheet model from synthetic surface ice flow velocity measurements. Our results indicate that accounting for model uncertainty stemming from the presence of nuisance parameters is crucial. Namely our findings suggest that using nominal values for these parameters, as is often done in practice, without taking into account the resulting modeling error can lead to overconfident and biased results.
Sebastian H. R. Rosier, Ronja Reese, Jonathan F. Donges, Jan De Rydt, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, and Ricarda Winkelmann
The Cryosphere, 15, 1501–1516,Short summary
Pine Island Glacier has contributed more to sea-level rise over the past decades than any other glacier in Antarctica. Ice-flow modelling studies have shown that it can undergo periods of rapid mass loss, but no study has shown that these future changes could cross a tipping point and therefore be effectively irreversible. Here, we assess the stability of Pine Island Glacier, quantifying the changes in ocean temperatures required to cross future tipping points using statistical methods.
Gong Cheng, Nina Kirchner, and Per Lötstedt
The Cryosphere, 15, 715–742,Short summary
We present an inverse modeling approach to improve the understanding of spatiotemporally variable processes at the inaccessible base of an ice sheet by determining the sensitivity of direct surface observations to perturbations of basal conditions. Time dependency is proved to be important in these types of problems. The effect of perturbations is analyzed based on analytical and numerical solutions.
Clemens Schannwell, Reinhard Drews, Todd A. Ehlers, Olaf Eisen, Christoph Mayer, Mika Malinen, Emma C. Smith, and Hannes Eisermann
The Cryosphere, 14, 3917–3934,Short summary
To reduce uncertainties associated with sea level rise projections, an accurate representation of ice flow is paramount. Most ice sheet models rely on simplified versions of the underlying ice flow equations. Due to the high computational costs, ice sheet models based on the complete ice flow equations have been restricted to < 1000 years. Here, we present a new model setup that extends the applicability of such models by an order of magnitude, permitting simulations of 40 000 years.
Vincent Verjans, Amber A. Leeson, Christopher Nemeth, C. Max Stevens, Peter Kuipers Munneke, Brice Noël, and Jan Melchior van Wessem
The Cryosphere, 14, 3017–3032,Short summary
Ice sheets are covered by a firn layer, which is the transition stage between fresh snow and ice. Accurate modelling of firn density properties is important in many glaciological aspects. Current models show disagreements, are mostly calibrated to match specific observations of firn density and lack thorough uncertainty analysis. We use a novel calibration method for firn models based on a Bayesian statistical framework, which results in improved model accuracy and in uncertainty evaluation.
Surendra Adhikari, Erik R. Ivins, Eric Larour, Lambert Caron, and Helene Seroussi
The Cryosphere, 14, 2819–2833,Short summary
The mathematical formalism presented in this paper aims at simplifying computational strategies for tracking ice–ocean mass exchange in the Earth system. To this end, we define a set of generic, and quite simple, descriptions of evolving land, ocean and ice interfaces and present a unified method to compute the sea-level contribution of evolving ice sheets. The formalism can be applied to arbitrary geometries and at all timescales.
Stephen L. Cornford, Helene Seroussi, Xylar S. Asay-Davis, G. Hilmar Gudmundsson, Rob Arthern, Chris Borstad, Julia Christmann, Thiago Dias dos Santos, Johannes Feldmann, Daniel Goldberg, Matthew J. Hoffman, Angelika Humbert, Thomas Kleiner, Gunter Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Nacho Merino, Gaël Durand, Mathieu Morlighem, David Pollard, Martin Rückamp, C. Rosie Williams, and Hongju Yu
The Cryosphere, 14, 2283–2301,Short summary
We present the results of the third Marine Ice Sheet Intercomparison Project (MISMIP+). MISMIP+ is one in a series of exercises that test numerical models of ice sheet flow in simple situations. This particular exercise concentrates on the response of ice sheet models to the thinning of their floating ice shelves, which is of interest because numerical models are currently used to model the response to contemporary and near-future thinning in Antarctic ice shelves.
Alanna V. Alevropoulos-Borrill, Isabel J. Nias, Antony J. Payne, Nicholas R. Golledge, and Rory J. Bingham
The Cryosphere, 14, 1245–1258,
Gong Cheng and Per Lötstedt
The Cryosphere, 14, 673–691,Short summary
We present a time-dependent inverse method for ice sheet modeling. By investigating the sensitivity of the observations of the velocity and the height at the surface to the basal conditions of the ice, we show that if the basal parameters are time dependent, then time cannot be ignored in the inversion. By looking at the numerical features, we conclude that adding the height information of an ice sheet in the velocity inversion procedure could improve the robustness of the inference.
Xiaoran Guo, Liyun Zhao, Rupert M. Gladstone, Sainan Sun, and John C. Moore
The Cryosphere, 13, 3139–3153,
Vincent Verjans, Amber A. Leeson, C. Max Stevens, Michael MacFerrin, Brice Noël, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 13, 1819–1842,Short summary
Firn models rely on empirical approaches for representing the percolation and refreezing of meltwater through the firn column. We develop liquid water schemes of different levels of complexity for firn models and compare their performances with respect to observations of density profiles from Greenland. Our results demonstrate that physically advanced water schemes do not lead to better agreement with density observations. Uncertainties in other processes contribute more to model discrepancy.
Leonardus van Kampenhout, Alan M. Rhoades, Adam R. Herrington, Colin M. Zarzycki, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, William J. Sacks, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 13, 1547–1564,Short summary
A new tool is evaluated in which the climate and surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet are resolved at 55 and 28 km resolution, while the rest of the globe is modelled at ~110 km. The local refinement of resolution leads to improved accumulation (SMB > 0) compared to observations; however ablation (SMB < 0) is deteriorated in some regions. This is attributed to changes in cloud cover and a reduced effectiveness of a model-specific vertical downscaling technique.
Hélène Seroussi, Sophie Nowicki, Erika Simon, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Torsten Albrecht, Julien Brondex, Stephen Cornford, Christophe Dumas, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Heiko Goelzer, Nicholas R. Golledge, Jonathan M. Gregory, Ralf Greve, Matthew J. Hoffman, Angelika Humbert, Philippe Huybrechts, Thomas Kleiner, Eric Larour, Gunter Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Daniel Lowry, Matthias Mengel, Mathieu Morlighem, Frank Pattyn, Anthony J. Payne, David Pollard, Stephen F. Price, Aurélien Quiquet, Thomas J. Reerink, Ronja Reese, Christian B. Rodehacke, Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel, Andrew Shepherd, Sainan Sun, Johannes Sutter, Jonas Van Breedam, Roderik S. W. van de Wal, Ricarda Winkelmann, and Tong Zhang
The Cryosphere, 13, 1441–1471,Short summary
We compare a wide range of Antarctic ice sheet simulations with varying initialization techniques and model parameters to understand the role they play on the projected evolution of this ice sheet under simple scenarios. Results are improved compared to previous assessments and show that continued improvements in the representation of the floating ice around Antarctica are critical to reduce the uncertainty in the future ice sheet contribution to sea level rise.
Mathieu Morlighem, Michael Wood, Hélène Seroussi, Youngmin Choi, and Eric Rignot
The Cryosphere, 13, 723–734,Short summary
Many glaciers along the coast of Greenland have been retreating. It has been suggested that this retreat is triggered by the presence of warm water in the fjords, and surface melt at the top of the ice sheet is exacerbating this problem. Here, we quantify the vulnerability of northwestern Greenland to further warming using a numerical model. We find that in current conditions, this sector alone will contribute more than 1 cm to sea rise level by 2100, and up to 3 cm in the most extreme scenario.
Sébastien Le clec'h, Sylvie Charbit, Aurélien Quiquet, Xavier Fettweis, Christophe Dumas, Masa Kageyama, Coraline Wyard, and Catherine Ritz
The Cryosphere, 13, 373–395,Short summary
Quantifying the future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) to sea-level rise in response to atmospheric changes is important but remains challenging. For the first time a full representation of the feedbacks between a GrIS model and a regional atmospheric model was implemented. The authors highlight the fundamental need for representing the GrIS topography change feedbacks with respect to the atmospheric component face to the strong impact on the projected sea-level rise.
Julien Brondex, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, and Olivier Gagliardini
The Cryosphere, 13, 177–195,Short summary
Here, we apply a synthetic perturbation to the most active drainage basin of Antarctica and show that centennial mass loss projections obtained through ice flow models depend strongly on the implemented friction law, i.e. the mathematical relationship between basal drag and sliding velocities. In particular, the commonly used Weertman law considerably underestimates the sea-level contribution of this basin in comparison to two water pressure-dependent laws which rely on stronger physical bases.
Hongju Yu, Eric Rignot, Helene Seroussi, and Mathieu Morlighem
The Cryosphere, 12, 3861–3876,Short summary
Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, has experienced rapid grounding line retreat and mass loss in the past decades. In this study, we simulate the evolution of Thwaites Glacier over the next century using different model configurations. Overall, we estimate a 5 mm contribution to global sea level rise from Thwaites Glacier in the next 30 years. However, a 300 % uncertainty is found over the next 100 years, ranging from 14 to 42 mm, depending on the model setup.
Youngmin Choi, Mathieu Morlighem, Michael Wood, and Johannes H. Bondzio
The Cryosphere, 12, 3735–3746,Short summary
Calving is an important mechanism that controls the dynamics of Greenland outlet glaciers. We test and compare four calving laws and assess which calving law has better predictive abilities. Overall, the calving law based on von Mises stress is more satisfactory than other laws, but new parameterizations should be derived to better capture the detailed processes involved in calving.
Rupert M. Gladstone, Yuwei Xia, and John Moore
The Cryosphere, 12, 3605–3615,Short summary
Computer models for the simulation of marine ice sheets (ice sheets resting on bedrock below sea level) historically show poor numerical convergence for grounding line (the boundary between grounded and floating parts of the ice sheet) movement. We have further characterised the nature of the numerical problems leading to poor convergence and highlighted implications for the design of computer experiments that test grounding line movement.
Hélène Seroussi and Mathieu Morlighem
The Cryosphere, 12, 3085–3096,
Michael J. Wolovick and John C. Moore
The Cryosphere, 12, 2955–2967,Short summary
In this paper, we explore the possibility of using locally targeted geoengineering to slow the rate of an ice sheet collapse. We find that an intervention as big as existing large civil engineering projects could have a 30 % probability of stopping an ice sheet collapse, while larger interventions have better odds of success. With more research to improve upon the simple designs we considered, it may be possible to perfect a design that was both achievable and had good odds of success.
Chen Zhao, Rupert M. Gladstone, Roland C. Warner, Matt A. King, Thomas Zwinger, and Mathieu Morlighem
The Cryosphere, 12, 2637–2652,Short summary
A combination of computer modelling and observational data were used to infer the resistance to ice flow at the bed of the Fleming Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula. The model was also used to simulate the distribution of temperature within the ice, which governs the rate at which the ice can deform. This is especially important for glaciers like the Fleming Glacier, which has both regions of rapid deformation and regions of rapid sliding at the bed.
Chen Zhao, Rupert M. Gladstone, Roland C. Warner, Matt A. King, Thomas Zwinger, and Mathieu Morlighem
The Cryosphere, 12, 2653–2666,Short summary
A combination of computer modelling and observational data were used to infer the resistance to ice flow at the bed of the Fleming Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula in both 2008 and 2015. The comparison suggests the grounding line retreated by ~ 9 km from 2008 to 2015. The retreat may be enhanced by a positive feedback between friction, melting and sliding at the glacier bed.
Lenneke M. Jong, Rupert M. Gladstone, Benjamin K. Galton-Fenzi, and Matt A. King
The Cryosphere, 12, 2425–2436,Short summary
We used an ice sheet model to simulate temporary regrounding of a marine ice sheet retreating across a retrograde bedrock slope. We show that a sliding relation incorporating water-filled cavities and the ice overburden pressure at the base allows the temporary regrounding to occur. This suggests that choice of basal sliding relation can be important when modelling grounding line behaviour of regions where potential ice rises and pinning points are present and regrounding could occur.
Clemens Schannwell, Stephen Cornford, David Pollard, and Nicholas E. Barrand
The Cryosphere, 12, 2307–2326,Short summary
Despite the speculation on the state and fate of Larsen C Ice Shelf, a key unknown factor remains: what would be the effects of ice-shelf collapse on upstream drainage basins and thus global sea levels? In our paper three state-of-the-art numerical ice-sheet models were used to simulate the volume evolution of the inland ice sheet to ice-shelf collapse at Larsen C and George VI ice shelves. Our results suggest sea-level rise of up to ~ 4 mm for Larsen C ice shelf and ~ 22 for George VI ice shelf.
Nadine Steiger, Kerim H. Nisancioglu, Henning Åkesson, Basile de Fleurian, and Faezeh M. Nick
The Cryosphere, 12, 2249–2266,Short summary
We use an ice flow model to reconstruct the retreat of Jakobshavn Isbræ since 1850, forced by increased ocean warming and calving. Fjord geometry governs locations of rapid retreat: narrow and shallow areas act as intermittent pinning points for decades, followed by delayed rapid retreat without additional climate warming. These areas may be used to locate potential moraine buildup. Evidently, historic retreat and geometric influences have to be analyzed individually for each glacier system.
Olivier Passalacqua, Marie Cavitte, Olivier Gagliardini, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Frédéric Parrenin, Catherine Ritz, and Duncan Young
The Cryosphere, 12, 2167–2174,Short summary
Locating a suitable drill site is a key step in the Antarctic oldest-ice challenge. Here we have conducted a 3-D ice flow simulation in the region of Dome C using a refined bedrock description. Five selection criteria are computed that together provide an objective overview on the local ice flow conditions. We delineate kilometer-scale favorable areas that overlap with the ones recently proposed by another group. We propose a few drill sites that should be surveyed during the next field seasons.
Yongmei Gong, Thomas Zwinger, Jan Åström, Bas Altena, Thomas Schellenberger, Rupert Gladstone, and John C. Moore
The Cryosphere, 12, 1563–1577,Short summary
In this study we apply a discrete element model capable of simulating ice fracturing. A microscopic-scale discrete process is applied in addition to a continuum ice dynamics model to investigate the mechanisms facilitated by basal meltwater production, surface meltwater and ice crack opening, for the surge in Basin 3, Austfonna ice cap. The discrete element model is used to locate the ice cracks that can penetrate though the full thickness of the glacier and deliver surface water to the bed.
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Geophysical systems can often contain scientific parameters whose values are uncertain, complex underlying dynamics, and field measurements with errors. These components are naturally modeled together within what is known as a Bayesian hierarchical model (BHM). This paper constructs such a model for shallow glaciers based on an approximation of the underlying dynamics. The evaluation of this model is aided by the use of exact analytical solutions from the literature.
Geophysical systems can often contain scientific parameters whose values are uncertain, complex...