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Shallow ice approximation, second order shallow ice approximation, and full Stokes models: A discussion of their roles in palaeo-ice sheet modelling and development
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
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Number of Authors: 9
2016 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 147, 136-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Full Stokes ice sheet models provide the most accurate description of ice sheet flow, and can therefore be used to reduce existing uncertainties in predicting the contribution of ice sheets to future sea level rise on centennial time-scales. The level of accuracy at which millennial time-scale palaeo-ice sheet simulations resolve ice sheet flow lags the standards set by Full Stokes models, especially, when Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA) models are used. Most models used in paleo-ice sheet modeling were developed at a time when computer power was very limited, and rely on several assumptions. At the time there was no means of verifying the assumptions by other than mathematical arguments. However, with the computer power and refined Full Stokes models available today, it is possible to test these assumptions numerically. In this paper, we review (Ahlkrona et al., 2013a) where such tests were performed and inaccuracies in commonly used arguments were found. We also summarize (Ahlkrona et al., 2013b) where the implications of the inaccurate assumptions are analyzed for two paleo-models - the SIA and the SOSIA. We review these works without resorting to mathematical detail, in order to make them accessible to a wider audience with a general interest in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. Specifically, we discuss two implications of relevance for palaeo-ice sheet modelling. First, classical SIA models are less accurate than assumed in their original derivation. Secondly, and contrary to previous recommendations, the SOSIA model is ruled out as a practicable tool for palaeo-ice sheet simulations. We conclude with an outlook concerning the new Ice Sheet Coupled Approximation Level (ISCAL) method presented in Ahlkrona et al. (2016), that has the potential to match the accuracy standards of full Stokes model on palaeo-timescales of tens of thousands of years, and to become an alternative to hybrid models currently used in palaeo-ice sheet modelling. The method is applied to an ice sheet covering Svalbard.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 147, 136-147 p.
Keyword [en]
Ice sheet models, Palaeo-ice sheets, Simulations, Svalbard, Full Stokes models, Shallow ice approximation, ISCAL method
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134252DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.01.032ISI: 000382409500009OAI: diva2:1017616
2nd International Conference of the Palaeo-Arctic-Spatial-and-Temporal-Gateways-Network (PAST Gateways), Trieste, Italy, 2014
Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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Kirchner, NinaLea, James M.
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