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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-2019-284
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-284
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models 15 Nov 2019

Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 15 Nov 2019

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

On the calculation of normalized viscous-plastic sea ice stresses

Jean-François Lemieux1 and Frédéric Dupont2 Jean-François Lemieux and Frédéric Dupont
  • 1Recherche en Prévision Numérique Environnementale/Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada, 2121 routeTranscanadienne, Dorval, Qc, Canada
  • 2Service Météorologique Canadien, Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada, 2121 route Transcanadienne, Dorval, Qc, Canada

Abstract. Calculating and plotting the normalized states of stress for viscous-plastic sea ice models is a common diagnostic for evaluating the numerical convergence and the physical consistency of a numerical solution. Researchers, however, usually do not explain how they calculate the normalized stresses. Here, we argue that care must be taken when calculating and plotting the normalized states of stress. A physically consistent and numerically converged solution should exhibit normalized stresses that are inside (viscous) or on (plastic) the yield curve. To do so, two possible mistakes need to be avoided. First, to assess the numerical convergence of a solution, one must compute the viscous coefficients and replacement pressure from the previous numerical iterate and the remaining strain rates from the latest iterate. Calculating the stresses only from the latest iterate falsely indicates that the solution has numerically converged. Second, the stresses should be normalized by the ice strength and not by the replacement pressure. Using the latter, one obtains converged states of stress that lie only on the yield curve (i.e., falsely indicating there are no viscous states of stress).

Jean-François Lemieux and Frédéric Dupont
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Status: open (until 10 Jan 2020)
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Jean-François Lemieux and Frédéric Dupont
Model code and software

McGill sea ice model code and outputs Jean-Francois Lemieux and Frederic Dupont https://zenodo.org/record/3530654#.Xc5HHH_TXDA

Jean-François Lemieux and Frédéric Dupont
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Latest update: 14 Dec 2019
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Short summary
Sea ice dynamics plays an important role in shaping the sea cover in polar regions. Winds and ocean currents exert large stresses on the sea ice cover. This can lead to the formation of long cracks and ridges which strongly impact the exchange of heat, momentum and moisture between the atmosphere and the ocean. It is therefore crucial for a sea ice model to be able to represent these features. This manuscript describes how internal sea ice stresses should be diagnosed from model simulations.
Sea ice dynamics plays an important role in shaping the sea cover in polar regions. Winds and...
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