Articles | Volume 14, issue 9
The Cryosphere, 14, 3209–3213, 2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 3209–3213, 2020
Brief communication
22 Sep 2020
Brief communication | 22 Sep 2020

Brief communication: Time step dependence (and fixes) in Stokes simulations of calving ice shelves

Brandon Berg and Jeremy Bassis

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Revised manuscript accepted for TC
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Cited articles

Alnæs, M., Blechta, J., Hake, J., Johansson, A., Kehlet, B., Logg, A., Richardson, C., Ring, J., Rognes, M. E., and Wells, G. N.: The FEniCS Project Version 1.5, Archive of Numerical Software, 3, 9–23,, 2015. a
Benn, D. I., Åström, J., Zwinger, T., Todd, J., Nick, F. M., Cook, S., Hulton, N. R., and Luckman, A.: Melt-under-cutting and buoyancy-driven calving from tidewater glaciers: new insights from discrete element and continuum model simulations, J. Glaciol., 63, 691–702,, 2017. a
Berg, B.: brberg/stokes-time-step-dependence: Initial Release (Version v1.0.0), 17 September 2020, Zenodo,, 2020. a
Cuffey, K. M. and Paterson, W. S. B.: The physics of glaciers, Elsevier, Butterworth-Heineman, Burlington, MA, 4 edn., 2010.  a
Durand, G., Gagliardini, O., de Fleurian, B., Zwinger, T., and Le Meur, E.: Marine ice sheet dynamics: Hysteresis and neutral equilibrium, J. Geophys. Res-Earth., 114, F03009,, 2009. a
Short summary
Computer models of ice sheets and glaciers are an important component of projecting sea level rise due to climate change. For models that seek to simulate the full balance of forces within the ice, if portions of the glacier are allowed to quickly break off in a process called iceberg calving, a numerical issue arises that can cause inaccurate results. We examine the issue and propose a solution so that future models can more accurately predict the future behavior of ice sheets and glaciers.