Introducing ELSA v2.0: an isochronal model for ice-sheet layer tracing
Abstract. We provide a detailed description of the ice-sheet layer age tracer ELSA – a model that uses a straightforward method to simulate the englacial stratification of large ice sheets – as an alternative to Eulerian or Lagrangian tracer schemes. ELSA’s vertical axis is time and individual layers of accumulation are modeled explicitly and are isochronal. ELSA is not a stand-alone ice-sheet model, but requires uni-directional coupling to another model providing ice physics and dynamics (the “host model”). Via ELSA’s layer tracing, the host model’s output can be evaluated throughout the interior using ice core or radiostratigraphy data. We describe the stability and resolution-dependence of this coupled modeling system using simulations of the last glacial cycle of the Greenland ice sheet using one specific host model. Key questions concern ELSA’s design to maximize usability, which includes making it computationally efficient enough for ensemble runs, as well as exploring the requirements for offline forcing of ELSA with output from a range of existing ice-sheet models. ELSA is an open source and collaborative project, and this work provides the foundation for a well-documented, flexible, and easily adaptable model code to effectively force ELSA with (any) existing full ice-sheet model via a clear interface.
Status: open (until 18 Mar 2024)
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