High-resolution ice-sheet modelling with a Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM)
Title: High-resolution ice-sheet modelling with a Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM)
SNIC Project: SNIC 2014/1-159
Project Type: SNAC Medium
Principal Investigator: Arjen Stroeven <arjen.stroeven@natgeo.su.se>
Affiliation: Stockholms universitet
Duration: 2014-05-17 – 2015-06-01
Classification: 10503 10507 10501
Homepage: http://people.su.se/~jsegu/


This project aims at performing high-resolution modelling of former ice cover in selected mountain areas, with primary focus on the Cordilleran ice sheet of western North America, which was one of the most dynamic former ice sheets on Earth. The simulations are performed by Julien Seguinot (Phd-student) and Ping Fu (post-doctorate) at the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University. Because numerical ice-sheet modelling is computationally demanding, it is therefore subject to several levels of approximations for different applications. Modelling a continental-sized ice-sheet on variable and steep topography over a 120-kyr glacial cycle is in this regard a large application and requires a high level of approximation. This is the basis of our choice of model: PISM (Parallel Ice Sheet Model). PISM is, as far as we know, currently the only finite-difference ice sheet model that allows fully parallel computations, and therefore high-spatial resolution, over multi-millenial time scales. PISM was installed on NSC's supercomputers Neolith and Triolith in 2012. The model was set up and used for test simulations and production runs of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet with horizontal resolutions up to 3 km [1] (corresponding to 150 million grid points). A sensitivity study was accepted for publication [2], and a second publication, involving 120-kyr simulations of the last glacial cycle, is currently in preparation. In addition, we are currently setting up the model for simulations of the former Haizishan ice cap [3] (eastern Tibetan Plateau), and plan its application to the Transbaikalian Mountains [4] (eastern Siberia). [1] http://people.su.se/~jsegu/2014/01/22/the_lgm_cordilleran_ice_sheet.html [2] J. Seguinot et al. (accepted), The Cryosphere. [3] http://www.egu.eu/awards-medals/union-osp-award/2013/ping-fu/ [4] Margold, M. and Jansson, K.N. (2011), J. Maps, 7, 18–30.