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Title: Capturing the interactions between ice sheets, sea level and the solid Earth on a range of timescales: a new “time window” algorithm
Abstract. Retreat and advance of ice sheets perturb the gravitational field, solidsurface and rotation of the Earth, leading to spatially variable sea-levelchanges over a range of timescales O(100−6 years), which in turn feedback onto ice-sheet dynamics. Coupled ice-sheet–sea-level models havebeen developed to capture the interactive processes between ice sheets, sealevel and the solid Earth, but it is computationally challenging to captureshort-term interactions O(100−2 years) precisely within longer O(103−6 years) simulations. The standard forward sea-level modelling algorithmassigns a uniform temporal resolution in the sea-level model, causing aquadratic increase in total CPU time with the total number of input icehistory steps, which increases with either the length or temporal resolutionof the simulation. In this study, we introduce a new “time window”algorithm for 1D pseudo-spectral sea-level models based on the normal modemethod that enables users to define the temporal resolution at which the iceloading history is captured during different time intervals before thecurrent simulation time. Utilizing the time window, we assign a finetemporal resolution O(100−2 years) for the period of ongoing andrecent history of surface ice and ocean loading changes and a coarsertemporal resolution O(103−6 years) for earlier periods in thesimulation. This reduces the total CPU time and memory required per modeltime step more » while maintaining the precision of the model results. We explorethe sensitivity of sea-level model results to the model temporal resolutionand show how this sensitivity feeds back onto ice-sheet dynamics in coupledmodelling. We apply the new algorithm to simulate sea-level changes inresponse to global ice-sheet evolution over two glacial cycles and the rapidcollapse of marine sectors of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the comingcenturies and provide appropriate time window profiles for each application.The time window algorithm reduces the total CPU time by ∼ 50 % in each of these examples and changes the trend of the total CPU timeincrease from quadratic to linear. This improvement would increase withlonger simulations than those considered here. Our algorithm also allows for couplingtime intervals of annual temporal scale for coupled ice-sheet–sea-levelmodelling of regions such as West Antarctica that are characterized byrapid solid Earth response to ice changes due to the thin lithosphere andlow mantle viscosities. « less
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Geoscientific Model Development
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1355 to 1373
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Three sites were cored on the continental shelf (Sites U1521, U1522, and U1523). At Site U1521, we cored a 650 m thick sequence of interbedded diamictite, mudstone, and diatomite, penetrating the Ross Sea seismic Unconformity RSU4. The depositional reconstructions of past glacial and open-marine conditions at this site will provide unprecedented insight into environmental change on the Antarctic continental shelf during the early and middle Miocene. At Site U1522, we cored a discontinuous upper Miocene to Pleistocene sequence of glacial and glaciomarine strata from the outer shelf, with the primary objective to penetrate and date seismic Unconformity RSU3, which is interpreted to represent the first major continental shelf–wide expansion and coalescing of marine-based ice streams from both East and West Antarctica. At Site U1523, we cored a sediment drift located beneath the westerly flowing Antarctic Slope Current (ASC). Cores from this site will provide a record of the changing vigor of the ASC through time. Such a reconstruction will enable testing of the hypothesis that changes in the vigor of the ASC represent a key control on regulating heat flux onto the continental shelf, resulting in the ASC playing a fundamental role in ice sheet mass balance. We also cored two sites on the continental slope and rise. At Site U1524, we cored a Plio–Pleistocene sedimentary sequence on the continental rise on the levee of the Hillary Canyon, which is one of the largest conduits of Antarctic Bottom Water delivery from the Antarctic continental shelf into the abyssal ocean. Drilling at Site U1524 was intended to penetrate into middle Miocene and older strata but was initially interrupted by drifting sea ice that forced us to abandon coring in Hole U1524A at 399.5 m drilling depth below seafloor (DSF). We moved to a nearby alternate site on the continental slope (U1525) to core a single hole with a record complementary to the upper part of the section recovered at Site U1524. We returned to Site U1524 3 days later, after the sea ice cleared. We then cored Hole U1524C with the rotary core barrel with the intention of reaching the target depth of 1000 m DSF. However, we were forced to terminate Hole U1524C at 441.9 m DSF due to a mechanical failure with the vessel that resulted in termination of all drilling operations and a return to Lyttelton 16 days earlier than scheduled. The loss of 39% of our operational days significantly impacted our ability to achieve all Expedition 374 objectives as originally planned. In particular, we were not able to obtain the deeper time record of the middle Miocene on the continental rise or abyssal sequences that would have provided a continuous and contemporaneous archive to the high-quality (but discontinuous) record from Site U1521 on the continental shelf. The mechanical failure also meant we could not recover sediment cores from proposed Site RSCR-19A, which was targeted to obtain a high-fidelity, continuous record of upper Neogene and Quaternary pelagic/hemipelagic sedimentation. Despite our failure to recover a shelf-to-rise transect for the Miocene, a continental shelf-to-rise transect for the Pliocene to Pleistocene interval is possible through comparison of the high-quality records from Site U1522 with those from Site U1525 and legacy cores from the Antarctic Geological Drilling Project (ANDRILL).« less