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EISMINT - European Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison

Project description

EISMINT is an acronym for the European Ice Sheet Modeling INiTiative. Two phases were already published EISMINT-1 and EISMINT-2.

The EISMINT 1 benchmark is the simplest set of test scenarios an ice sheet model has to pass. The ice sheet model is tested under both fixed and moving margin conditions. The ice sheets are considered isothermal, i.e. the flow law does not depend on the temperature field. However, the temperature field is fully calculated. This is a useful test for the thermal part of the ice sheet model.

The EISMINT 2 follow directly from those of the first phase of ice sheet model
Intercomparison by including several new aspects such as
1. full coupling between ice sheet temperature evolution and snow via temperature-dependent
ice rheology;
2. temperature and form response times to stepped changes in boundary conditions (air temperature and surface accumulation rate);
3. divide migration rates in response to surface accumulation changes;
4. ice sheet response to simple, temperature-dependent sliding laws; and
5. ice sheet response to topographic variation.

As such there is a test where simple mass balance and temperature forcing are combined with ice flow and thermal evolution. In general, the tests proposed attempts to simulate, many of the features ice sheet modellers encounter when they work on `real' ice sheets.

In the EISMINT 3- exercise the focus lays on the so-called higher-order models, i.e. models that incorporate further mechanical effects, principally longitudinal stress gradients, or the full
Stokes system. The experiments are meant to be accessible for many types of models, i.e. flowline models, vertically integrated planform models, as well as full three-dimensional models.

Complementary resources about this scientific project

Project team

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Frank Pattyn
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DSTE) - Polar Glaciology Unit CP 160/03
50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 650 22 27
Fax: +32 (0)2 650 22 26

Involved partners:

Partner 1: Tony PAYNE,
Bristol Glaciology Centre
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
Bristol (England)

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