16 Jun 2022
16 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

ISMIP-HOM benchmark experiments using Underworld

Till Sachau1, Haibin Yang2, Justin Lang1, Paul D. Bons1,3, and Louis Moresi2 Till Sachau et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 2Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • 3China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. Numerical models have become an indispensable tool for understanding and predicting the flow of ice sheets and glaciers. Here we present the full-Stokes software package Underworld to the glaciological community. The code is already well established in simulating complex geodynamic systems. Advantages for glaciology are that it provides a full-Stokes solution for elasto-visco-plastic materials and includes mechanical anisotropy. Underworld uses a material point method to track the full history information of Lagrangian material points, of stratigraphic layers and of free surfaces. We show that Underworld successfully reproduces the results of other full-Stokes models for the benchmark experiments of the ISMIP-HOM project. Furthermore, we test FE meshes with different geometries and highlight the need to be able to adapt the finite-element grid to discontinuous interfaces between materials with strongly different properties, such as the ice-bedrock boundary.

Till Sachau et al.

Status: open (until 11 Aug 2022)

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Till Sachau et al.


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Short summary
Knowledge of the internal structures of the major continental ice sheets is improving, thanks to new investigative techniques. These structures are an essential indication of the flow behavior and dynamics of ice transport, which in turn is important for understanding the actual impact of the vast amounts of water trapped in continental ice sheets on global sea level rise. The software studied here is specifically designed to simulate such structures and their formation history.