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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-183
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-183
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 24 Jul 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 24 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

SELEN4 (SELEN version 4.0): a Fortran program for solving the gravitationally and topographically self-consistent Sea Level Equation in Glacial Isostatic Adjustment modeling

Giorgio Spada1 and Daniele Melini2 Giorgio Spada and Daniele Melini
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate (DiSPeA), Università di Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Italy
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, I-00143 Rome, Italy

Abstract. We present SELEN4 (a SealEveL EquatioN solver), an open-source program written in Fortran 90 that simulates the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) process in response to the melting of the late-Pleistocene ice sheets. Using a pseudo-spectral approach complemented by a spatial discretization on an icosahedron-based spherical geodesic grid, SELEN4 solves a generalised Sea Level Equation (SLE) for a spherically symmetric Earth with linear viscoelastic rheology, taking the migration of the shorelines and the rotational feedback on sea level into account. The approach is gravitationally and topographically self-consistent, since it considers the gravitational interactions between the solid Earth, the cryosphere and the oceans, and it accounts for the evolution of the Earth's topography in response to changes in sea level. Program SELEN4 can be employed to study a broad range of geophysical effects of GIA, including past relative sea-level variations induced by the melting of the late-Pleistocene ice sheets, the time-evolution of paleogeography and of the ocean function since the Last Glacial Maximum, the history of the Earth's rotational variations, present-day geodetic signals observed by Global Navigation Satellite Systems and geopotential field variations detected by satellite gravity missions like GRACE (the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment). The GIA fingerprints constitute a standard output of SELEN4. Along with the source code, we provide a supplementary document with a full account of the theory, some numerical results obtained from a standard run, and a User guide. Program SELEN was conceived by GS in 2005 as a tool for students eager to learn about GIA. Still, it is the only open-source program for the solution of the SLE available to the community.

Giorgio Spada and Daniele Melini
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Giorgio Spada and Daniele Melini
Model code and software

SELEN G. Spada and D. Melini https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3339209

Giorgio Spada and Daniele Melini
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Latest update: 17 Aug 2019
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Short summary
Accurate modeling of the complex physical interactions between solid earth, oceans and ice masses in response to deglaciation processes is of paramount importance in climate change and geodesy, since ongoing effects of the melting of late-pleistocene ice sheets are still affecting present-day observations of sea-level change, uplift rates and gravity field. In this paper we present SELEN, an open-source code that can compute a broad range of physical predictions for a given deglaciation model.
Accurate modeling of the complex physical interactions between solid earth, oceans and ice...
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