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A generalized interpolation material point method for shallow ice shelves. Part II: anisotropic nonlocal damage mechanics and rift propagation
  • Alex Huth,
  • Ravindra Duddu,
  • Ben Smith
Alex Huth
University of Washington

Corresponding Author:ahuth@princeton.edu

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Ravindra Duddu
Vanderbilt University
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Ben Smith
University of Washington
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Ice shelf fracture is responsible for roughly half of Antarctic ice mass loss in the form of calving and can weaken buttressing of upstream ice flow. Large uncertainties associated with the ice sheet response to climate variations are due to a poor understanding of these fracture processes and how to model them. Here, we address these problems by developing an anisotropic, nonlocal, creep damage model for large-scale shallow-shelf ice flow. This model can be used to study the full evolution of fracture from initiation of crevassing to rifting that eventually causes tabular calving. While previous ice shelf fracture models have largely relied on simple expressions to estimate crevasse depths, our model parameterizes fracture directly in 3-D. We also develop an efficient supporting numerical framework based on the material point method, which avoids advection errors. Using an idealized marine ice sheet, we test our methods in comparison to a damage model that parameterizes crevasse depths, as well as a modified version of the latter model that accounts for how necking and mass balance affect damage. We demonstrate that the creep damage model is best suited for capturing weakening and rifting, and that anisotropic damage reproduces typically observed fracture patterns better than isotropic damage. However, we also show how necking and mass balance can significantly influence damage on decadal timescales. Because these processes are currently absent from the creep damage parameterization, we discuss the possibility for a combined approach between models to best represent mechanical weakening and tabular calving within long-term simulations.
Aug 2021Published in Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems volume 13 issue 8. 10.1029/2020MS002292