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Coupling ice flow models of varying orders of complexity with the Tiling method

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Ice flow numerical models are essential for predicting the evolution of ice sheets in a warming climate. Recent research emphasizes the need for higher-order and even full-Stokes flow models, instead of the traditional shallow-ice approximation, whose assumptions are not valid in certain critical areas. These higher-order models are, however, computationally intensive and difficult to use at the continental scale. Here we present a new technique, the Tiling method, to couple ice flow models of varying orders of complexity. The goal of the method is to limit the spatial extent of where higher-order models are applied to reduce the computational cost, while maintaining the model precision. We apply this method on synthetic geometries to demonstrate its practical use. We first use a geometry for which all models yield the same results to check the consistency of the method. Then we apply our method to a geometry for which a full-Stokes model is required in the vicinity of the ice front. Our results show that the hybrid models present significant improvements over mono-model approaches and reduce computational times.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2012

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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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