A Model of Icebergs and Sea Ice in a Joint Continuum Framework

Irena Vaňková, David M. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ice mélange, a mixture of sea ice and icebergs, often present in front of outlet glaciers in Greenland or ice shelves in Antarctica, can have a profound effect on the dynamics of the ice-ocean system. The current inability to numerically model the ice mélange motivates a new modeling approach proposed here. A continuum sea-ice model is taken as a starting point and icebergs are represented as thick and compact pieces of sea ice held together by large tensile and shear strength, selectively introduced into the sea-ice rheology. In order to modify the rheology correctly, an iceberg tracking procedure is implemented within a semi-Lagrangian time-stepping scheme, designed to exactly preserve iceberg shape through time. With the proposed treatment, sea ice and icebergs are considered a single fluid with spatially varying rheological properties. Mutual interactions are thus automatically included without the need for further parametrization. An important advantage of the presented framework for an ice mélange model is its potential to be easily included within sea-ice components of existing climate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9110-9125
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume122
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

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Keywords

  • ice mélange
  • iceberg
  • model
  • rheology
  • sea ice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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