An enthalpy formulation for glaciers and ice sheets

Published: Apr 1, 2012 by The PISM Authors

   
Title An enthalpy formulation for glaciers and ice sheets
Authors Andreas Aschwanden and others
Venue Journal of Glaciology
Location Greenland and other ice sheets

Polythermal conditions are ubiquitous among glaciers and ice sheets. Fortunately, temperature and liquid water fraction are functions of a single enthalpy variable: a small enthalpy change in cold ice is a change in temperature, while a small enthalpy change in temperate ice is a change in liquid water fraction. The unified enthalpy formulation described in this paper models the mass and energy balance for the three-dimensional ice fluid, for the surface runoff layer and for the subglacial hydrology layer, together in a single energy-conserving theoretical framework. It is implemented in PISM. Results for the Greenland ice sheet are compared with those from a cold-ice scheme.

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