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Evolution of a coupled marine ice sheet-sea level model

Gomez, Natalya, Pollard, David, Mitrovica, Jerry X., Huybers, Peter and Clark, Peter U (2012) Evolution of a coupled marine ice sheet-sea level model. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE, 117 . F01013. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1029/2011JF002128


We investigate the stability of marine ice sheets by coupling a gravitationally self-consistent sea level model valid for a self-gravitating, viscoelastically deforming Earth to a 1-D marine ice sheet-shelf model. The evolution of the coupled model is explored for a suite of simulations in which we vary the bed slope and the forcing that initiates retreat. We find that the sea level fall at the grounding line associated with a retreating ice sheet acts to slow the retreat; in simulations with shallow reversed bed slopes and/or small external forcing, the drop in sea level can be sufficient to halt the retreat. The rate of sea level change at the grounding line has an elastic component due to ongoing changes in ice sheet geometry, and a viscous component due to past ice and ocean load changes. When the ice sheet model is forced from steady state, on short timescales (<∼500 years), viscous effects may be ignored and grounding-line migration at a given time will depend on the local bedrock topography and on contemporaneous sea level changes driven by ongoing ice sheet mass flux. On longer timescales, an accurate assessment of the present stability of a marine ice sheet requires knowledge of its past evolution.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Quaternary Environmental Change
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:27116
Deposited By: Mrs Linda Allen
Deposited On:29 Sep 2013 08:22
Last Modified:29 Sep 2013 08:22

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