Submitted as: model description paper 14 Sep 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 14 Sep 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Coupling framework (1.0) for the ice sheet model PISM (1.1.1) and the ocean model MOM5 (5.1.0) via the ice-shelf cavity module PICO

Moritz Kreuzer1,2, Ronja Reese1, Willem Nicholas Huiskamp1, Stefan Petri1, Torsten Albrecht1, Georg Feulner1, and Ricarda Winkelmann1,2 Moritz Kreuzer et al.
  • 1Earth System Analysis, Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Member of the Leibniz Association, P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2University of Potsdam, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The past and future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is largely controlled by interactions between the ocean and floating ice shelves. To investigate these interactions, coupled ocean and ice sheet model configurations are required. Previous modelling studies have mostly relied on high resolution configurations, limiting these studies to individual glaciers or regions over short time scales of decades to a few centuries. We present a framework to couple the dynamic ice sheet model PISM with the global ocean general circulation model MOM5 via the ice-shelf cavity module PICO. Since ice-shelf cavities are not resolved by MOM5, but parameterized with the box model PICO, the framework allows the ice sheet and ocean model to be run at resolution of 16 km and 3 degree, respectively. This approach makes the coupled configuration a useful tool for the analysis of interactions between the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Earth system over time spans on the order of centuries to millennia. In this study we describe the technical implementation of this coupling framework: sub-shelf melting in the ice sheet model is calculated by PICO from modeled ocean temperatures and salinities at the depth of the continental shelf and, vice versa, the resulting mass and energy fluxes from the melting at the ice-ocean interface are transferred to the ocean model. Mass and energy fluxes are shown to be conserved to machine precision across the considered model domains. The implementation is computationally efficient as it introduces only minimal overhead. The framework deals with heterogeneous spatial grid geometries, varying grid resolutions and time scales between the ice and ocean model in a generic way, and can thus be adopted to a wide range of model setups.

Moritz Kreuzer et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Moritz Kreuzer et al.

Data sets

Input Data as used in Kreuzer et al., Geoscientific Model Development publication (gmd-2020-230) Moritz Kreuzer

Model code and software

PISM-MOM coupling: v1.0.2 Moritz Kreuzer

Moritz Kreuzer et al.


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Short summary
We present the technical implementation of a coarse resolution coupling between an ice sheet model and an ocean model that allows to simulate ice-ocean interactions at time scales from centuries to millennia. Since ice-shelf cavities cannot be resolved in the ocean model at coarse resolution, we bridge the gap using an sub-shelf cavity module. The manuscript describes the coupling procedure between the models, shows its computational efficiency, as well as that mass and energy are conserved.