Elmer/Ice News

Inquiring past erosions at overdeepenings

egqsj-72-189-2023-avatar-web.jpg At the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Rhine Glacier complex (Rhine and Linth glaciers) featured numerous overdeepened valleys as a consequence of repeated glaciations. Their location is close to the LGM ice margin, far in the lowlands, away from the Alps. Numerical models of ice flow of the Rhine Glacier indicate a poor fit between the sliding distance, a proxy for glacial erosion, and the location of these overdeepenings. Calculations of the hydraulic potential based on the computed time-dependent ice surface elevations of the Rhine Glacier lobe obtained from a high-resolution thermo-mechanically coupled Stokes setup of Elmer/Ice are used to estimate the location of subglacial water drainage routes. Results reveal an elevated subglacial water discharge focused along glacial valleys and overdeepenings under the assumption that of water pressure being equal to the ice overburden pressure. These conditions are necessary for subglacial water to remove basal sediments, expose fresh bedrock, and favor further erosion by quarrying and abrasion. Knowledge of the location of paleo-subglacial water drainage routes appears to be a necessary component in understanding patterns of subglacial erosion beneath paleo-ice masses that can not be explained purely by sliding - a fact that also seems to apply to the here studied overdeepenings in the Swiss lowlands.


Cohen, D., Jouvet, G., Zwinger, T., Landgraf, A., and Fischer, U. H., 2023. Subglacial hydrology from high-resolution ice-flow simulations of the Rhine Glacier during the Last Glacial Maximum: a proxy for glacial erosion,. E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 72, 189–201, DOI:10.5194/egqsj-72-189-2023

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How glaciers would look like today in a world without Us?

clauzel2023This work aims to quantify the anthropogenic impact on the Argentière Glacier with respect to changes related to climate natural variability. We use a detection-attribution approach to produce retrospective ensemble simulations of the climate and the glaciers, with and without greenhouse gasses and aerosol forcings over 1850–2014. The time of emergence of the anthropogenic signal, that is, the date when it becomes statistically distinguishable from climate natural variability, occurs in 1979 for temperature in the Argentière location, with warming reaching 1.35°C in 2014 relative to 1850. The emergence of the anthropogenic signal occurs later for the glacier changes: the snout position is still compatible with natural variability in 2014, whereas for the glacier mass change, it occurred in 2008, ∼30 years after that of the temperature. In 2014, 66% [21%–111%] of the total mass loss since 1850 can be attributed to anthropogenic activities, a result that is dependent on the natural variability estimated from the climate model used in this study. The combination of increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses and decreasing aerosols in the atmosphere led to an acceleration of the glacier retreat over the last 3 decades.

Read more: Clauzel L., M. Ménégoz, A. Gilbert, O. Gagliardini, D. Six, G. Gastineau and C. Vincent, 2023. Sensitivity of glaciers in the European Alps to anthropogenic atmospheric forcings: Case study of the Argentière Glacier. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL100363. DOI:10.1029/2022GL100363

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Elmer/Ice at EGU General Assembly 2023

Elmer/Ice is prominently present at this year's EGU General Assembly with a dedicated splinter meeting wherein the 10th Elmer/Ice User Meeting will take place. Please, find instructions how to participate the User Meeting (we also try to organise a Zoom link for streaming) on the corresponding Wiki-page.

Using the search on the programme page of EGU, we identify the following talks that seem to involve Elmer/Ice in some wider connection (in chronological order; click on links for details)

The EuroHPC Center of Excellence for Exascale in Solid Earth  
Arnau Folch, Josep DelaPuente, Antonio Costa, Benedikt Halldórson, Jose Gracia, Piero Lanucara, Michael Bader, Alice-Agnes Gabriel, Jorge Macías, Finn Lovholt, Vadim Montellier, Alexandre Fournier, Erwan Raffin, Thomas Zwinger, Clea Denamiel, Boris Kaus, and Laetitia le Pourhiet
Mon, 24 Apr, 08:35–08:45  Room 0.16

Numerical modelling of rapidly-rising glacier outburst floods  
Tómas Jóhannesson, Thomas Zwinger, Peter Råback, and Juha Ruokolainen
Mon, 24 Apr, 11:45–11:55  Room L3

Seasonal and inter annual effects of meltwater runoff on ice dynamics in Northeast Greenland  
Ilaria Tabone, Johannes J. Fürst, and Thomas Mölg
Mon, 24 Apr, 14:00–15:45  Hall X5 X5.237

A periodic visco-elastic model for crevasses propagation in marine ice shelves  
Maryam Zarrinderakht, Thomas Zwinger, and Christian Schoof
Mon, 24 Apr, 14:15–14:25  Room L3

Effect of mesh resolution on accurate grounding line definition using 2D finite element software, Elmer/ice  
Su-jeong Lim and Byung-Dal So
Mon, 24 Apr, 14:00–15:45  Hall X5 X5.222

A 3D glacier dynamics-line plume model to estimate the frontal ablation of Hansbreen, Svalbard  
José Manuel Muñoz Hermosilla, Eva De Andrés, Kaian Shahateet, Jaime Otero, and Francisco J. Navarro
Tue, 25 Apr, 11:15–11:25  Room L3

Constraining the overall future projection of Upernavik Isstrøm by observations  
Eliot Jager, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Nicolas Champollion, and Romain Millan
Tue, 25 Apr, 12:05–12:15  Room L3

Modelling the kinematic evolution of valley-scale folding in surge-type glaciers using Elmer/Ice  
Erik Young, Gwenn Flowers, Hester Jiskoot, and Daniel Gibson
Tue, 25 Apr, 16:15–16:25  Room L2

Large-amplitude perturbation experiments to assess the unstable behaviour of AIS in the near future  
Benoit Urruty, Olivier Gagliardini, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Gael Durand, and Mondher Chekki
Tue, 25 Apr, 17:25–17:35  Room L2

On the effect of damage on the recent changes in the Amundsen Sea Sector  
Cyrille Mosbeux, Nicolas Jourdain, Olivier Gagliardini, Peter Råback, and Adrien Gilbert
Tue, 25 Apr, 17:45–17:55  Room L2

Modelling the three-dimensional stratigraphy of an ice rise  
Clara Henry, Reinhard Drews, Clemens Schannwell, Vjeran Višnjević, Inka Koch, Heiko Spiegel, Leah Muhle, Olaf Eisen, Daniela Jansen, Steven Franke, and Paul Bons
Wed, 26 Apr, 09:20–09:30  Room 1.61/62

Elmer/Ice results on the CalvingMIPintercomparison project using a level-set function  
Cruz Garcia-Molina, Fabien Gillet-Chaulet, Mondher Chekki, Gael Durand, Olivier Gagliardini, and Nicolas Jourdain
Wed, 26 Apr, 09:40–09:50  Room 1.61/62

Increasing the largest stable time-step size in ice flow models  
André Löfgren, Josefin Ahlkrona, Thomas Zwinger, Christian Helanow, and Denis Cohen
Wed, 26 Apr, 10:00–10:10  Room 1.61/62

- please contact us in case of additions or corrections should to be applied

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