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Geoscientific Model Development


Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union.

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We present a numerical method for calculating vertically averaged velocity fields using a mass conservation approach, commonly known as balance velocities. This allows for an unstructured grid, is not dependent on a heuristic flow routing algorithm, and is both parallelizable and efficient. We apply the method to calculate depth-averaged velocities of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and find that the method produces grid-independent velocity fields for a sufficient parameterization of horizontal plane stresses on flow directions. We show that balance velocity can be used as the forward model for a constrained optimization problem that can be used to fill gaps and smooth strong gradients in InSAR velocity fields.




© Author(s) 2015

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Recommended Citation

Brinkerhoff, D. and Johnson, J.: A stabilized finite element method for calculating balance velocities in ice sheets, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1275-1283, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-1275-2015, 2015.