Elmer/Ice News

Kinematic response of ice-rise divides to changes in ocean and atmosphere forcing

Fig2 DivArchSketchFinalThe majority of Antarctic ice shelves are bounded by grounded ice rises. These ice rises exhibit local flow fields that partially oppose the flow of the surrounding ice shelves. Formation of ice rises is accompanied by a characteristic upward-arching internal stratigraphy (“Raymond arches”), whose geometry can be analysed to infer information about past ice-sheet changes in areas where other archives such as rock outcrops are missing. Here we present an improved modelling framework using Elmer/Ice to study ice-rise evolution using a satellite-velocity calibrated, isothermal, and isotropic 3-D full-Stokes model including grounding-line dynamics at the required mesh resolution (<500 m). This overcomes limitations of previous studies where ice-rise modelling has been restricted to 2-D and excluded the coupling between the ice shelf and ice rise. We apply the model to the Ekström Ice Shelf, Antarctica, containing two ice rises. Our simulations investigate the effect of surface mass balance and ocean perturbations onto ice-rise divide position and interpret possible resulting unique Raymond arch geometries. Our perturbation simulations for the Ekström catchment reveal that SMB perturbations result in fast divide migration (up to 3.5 m /a), while shelf thickness perturbations only trigger slow divide migration (< 0.75 m /a). The amplitude of divide migration is predominately controlled by the subglacial topography and SMB, with ice-shelf buttressing being of secondary importance. We also track the migration of a triple junction and synchronous ice-divide migration in both ice rises with similar magnitude but differing rates. The model is suitable for glacial/interglacial simulations on the catchment scale, providing the next step forward to unravel the ice-dynamic history stored in ice rises all around Antarctica.

Read more: Schannwell C., R. Drews, T.A. Ehlers, O. Eisen, C. Mayer and F. Gillet-Chaulet, 2019. Kinematic response of ice-rise divides to changes in ocean and atmosphere forcing, The Cryosphere, 13, 2673–2691, DOI: 10.5194/tc-13-2673-2019.

Modeling the Re-appearance of a Crashed Airplane

compagno2019In this study we used Elmer/Ice to reconstruct the space-time trajectory of the Dakota airplane which crashed on the Gauligletscher in 1946 and was subsequently buried by snow accumulation. Our aim was to localize its present position and predict when and where it would re-appear at the surface. As a first step we modeled the ice flow field and the evolution of Gauligletscher from 1946 using a combined Stokes ice flow and surface mass balance model, which was calibrated with surface elevation and velocity observations. In a second step the modeled ice velocity fields were integrated forward-in-time, starting from the crash location. Our results suggest that the main body of the damaged aircraft will be released approximately between 2027 and 2035, 1 km upstream of the parts that emerged between 2012 and 2018. Our modeling results indicate that the recently found pieces of the Dakota might have been removed from the original aircraft location and moved down-glacier before being abandoned in the late 40s.

Read more: Compagno L., G. Jouvet, A. Bauder, M. Funk, G. J. Church, S. Leinss and M. P. Lüthi, 2019. Modeling the re-appearance of a crashed airplane on Gauligletscher, Switzerland, Frontiers in Earth Science, 7, 170, DOI: 10.3389/feart.2019.00170

Coupling Elmer/Ice to a discrete element model

MemonEtal2019This new paper utilizes a workflow management system (WMS) to couple Elmer/Ice to HiDEM in order to enable a high resolution, physically accurate representation of calving.  Scientific computing applications involving complex simulations and data-intensive processing are often composed of multiple tasks forming a workflow of computing jobs. Scientific communities running such applications on computing resources often find it cumbersome to manage and monitor the execution of these tasks and their associated data. These workflow implementations usually add overhead by introducing unnecessary input/output (I/O) for coupling the models and can lead to sub-optimal CPU utilization. Furthermore, running these workflow implementations in different environments requires significant adaptation efforts, which can hinder the reproducibility of the underlying science. High-level scientific WMS can be used to automate and simplify complex task structures by providing tooling for the composition and execution of workflows – even across distributed and heterogeneous computing environments. The WMS approach allows users to focus on the underlying high-level workflow and avoid low-level pitfalls that would lead to non-optimal resource usage while still allowing the workflow to remain portable between different computing environments. As a case study, we apply the UNICORE workflow management system to enable the coupling of a glacier flow model and calving model which contain many tasks and dependencies, ranging from pre-processing and data management to repetitive executions in heterogeneous high-performance computing (HPC) resource environments. Using the UNICORE workflow management system, the composition, management, and execution of the glacier modelling workflow becomes easier with respect to usage, monitoring, maintenance, reusability, portability, and reproducibility in different environments and by different user groups. Last but not least, the workflow helps to speed the runs up by reducing model coupling I/O overhead and it optimizes CPU utilization by avoiding idle CPU cores and running the models in a distributed way on the HPC cluster that best fits the characteristics of each model.

Read more: Memon S., D. Vallot, T. Zwinger, J. Åström, H. Neukirchen, M. Riedel and M. Book, 2019. Scientific workflows applied to the coupling of a continuum (Elmer v8.3) and a discrete element (HiDEM v1.0) ice dynamic model, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 3001-3015 DOI: 10.5194/gmd-12-3001-2019

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