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Towards a GIS assessment of numerical ice-sheet model performance using geomorphological data

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A major difficulty in assimilating geomorphological information with ice-sheet models is the lack of a consistent methodology to systematically compare model output and field data. As an initial step in establishing a quantitative comparison methodology, automated proximity and conformity analysis (APCA) and automated flow direction analysis (AFDA) have been developed to assess the level of correspondence between modelled ice extent and ice-marginal features such as end moraines, as well as between modelled basal flow directions and palaeo-flow direction indicators, such as glacial lineations. To illustrate the potential of such an approach, an ensemble suite of 40 numerical simulations of the Fennoscandian ice sheet were compared to end moraines of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Younger Dryas and to glacial lineations in northern Sweden using APCA and AFDA. Model experiments evaluated in this manner were ranked according to level of correspondence. Such an approach holds considerable promise for optimizing the parameter space and coherence of ice-flow models by automated, quantitative assessment of multiple ensemble experiments against a database of geological or glaciological evidence.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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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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