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Transient glacier response with a higher-order numerical ice-flow model

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In this paper, a higher-order numerical flowline model is presented which is numerically stable and fast and can cope with very small horizontal grid sizes (5 10 m). The model is compared with the results from Blatter and others (1998) on Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland, and with the European Ice-Sheet Modelling Initiative benchmarks (Huybrechts and others, 1996). Results demonstrate that the significant difference between calculated basal-drag and driving-stress profiles in a fixed geometry disappears when the glacier profile is allowed to react to the surface mass-balance conditions and reaches a steady state. Dynamic experiments show that the mass transfer in higher-order models occurs at a different speed in the accumulation and ablation areas and that the front position is more sensitive to migration compared to the shallow-ice approximation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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