The flow of large ice sheets and glaciers can be simulated by solving the full Stokes equations using a finite element method. The simulation is particularly sensitive to the discretization of the grounding line, which separates ice resting on bedrock and ice floating on water, and is moving with time. The boundary conditions at the ice base are enforced by Nitsche's method and a subgrid treatment of the grounding line element. Simulations with the method in two dimensions for an advancing and a retreating grounding line illustrate the performance of the method. The computed grounding line position is compared to previously published data with a fine mesh, showing that similar accuracy is obtained using subgrid modeling with more than 20-times-coarser meshes. This subgrid scheme is implemented in the two-dimensional version of the open-source code Elmer/ICE.
Read more: Cheng, G., P. Lötstedt and L. von Sydow, 2020. A full Stokes subgrid scheme in two dimensions for simulation of grounding line migration in ice sheets using Elmer/ICE (v8.3), Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 2245–2258, doi:10.5194/gmd-13-2245-2020