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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-58
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 27 Mar 2018

Model description paper | 27 Mar 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.

SHaKTI: Subglacial Hydrology and Kinetic Transient Interactions v1.0

Aleah Sommers1, Harihar Rajaram1, and Mathieu Morlighem2 Aleah Sommers et al.
  • 1Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, California, USA

Abstract. Subglacial hydrology has a significant influence on ice sheet dynamics, yet remains poorly understood. Complex feedbacks play out between the liquid water and the ice, with constantly changing drainage geometry and flow mechanics. A clear tradition has been established in the subglacial hydrology modeling literature of distinguishing between channelized (efficient) and distributed (inefficient) drainage systems or components. Imposing a distinction that changes the governing physics under different flow regimes, however, may not allow for the full array of drainage characteristics to arise. Here, we present a new subglacial hydrology model: SHaKTI (Subglacial Hydrology and Kinetic Transient Interactions). In this model formulation, a single set of governing equations is applied over the entire domain, with a spatially and temporally varying transmissivity that allows for representation of the wide transition between turbulent and laminar flow, and the geometry of each element is allowed to evolve accordingly to form sheet and channel configurations. The model is implemented as a solution in the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM). We include steady and transient examples to demonstrate features and capabilities of the model, and we are able to reproduce seasonal behavior of the subglacial water pressure that is consistent with observed seasonal velocity behavior in many Greenland outlet glaciers, supporting the notion that subglacial hydrology may be a key influencer in shaping these patterns.

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Aleah Sommers et al.
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Aleah Sommers et al.
Aleah Sommers et al.
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Latest update: 15 Jul 2018
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Short summary
Water that melts and drains beneath glaciers influences how fast they move and how much ice is lost, contributing to sea level rise. This drainage is complicated and constantly changing. Most models distinguish between fast and slow drainage with different equations for each system. Our model allows for the ice/water drainage arrangement to evolve naturally between different types of flow. This model can be used to understand how drainage affects glacier speeds and the associated ice loss.
Water that melts and drains beneath glaciers influences how fast they move and how much ice is...
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