Efficient flowline simulations of ice shelf-ocean interactions: Sensitivity studies with a fully coupled model

Ryan T. Walker, David M. Holland, Byron R. Parizek, Richard B. Alley, Sophie M J Nowicki, Adrian Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Thermodynamic flowline and plume models for the ice shelf-ocean system simplify the ice and ocean dynamics sufficiently to allow extensive exploration of parameters affecting ice-sheet stability while including key physical processes. Comparison between geophysically and laboratory-based treatments of ice-ocean interface thermodynamics shows reasonable agreement between calculated melt rates, except where steep basal slopes and relatively high ocean temperatures are present. Results are especially sensitive to the poorly known drag coefficient, highlighting the need for additional field experiments to constrain its value. These experiments also suggest that if the ice-ocean interface near the grounding line is steeper than some threshold, further steepening of the slope may drive higher entrainment that limits buoyancy, slowing the plume and reducing melting; if confirmed, this will provide a stabilizing feedback on ice sheets under some circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2200-2210
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Volume43
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography

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