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Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences

Glaciology & Cryosphere

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Ice Sheet Modelling

We are part of an international team developing a community ice sheet model. Large scale ice sheet physics is well understood and its implementation fairly standard. Maintaining a large piece of software is non-trivial. However, this effort can be shared by a community. This is underlying idea of GLIMMER. GLIMMER is a three-dimensional thermo-mechanically coupled ice sheet model. It can be used as a stand-alone model or as a component of an Earth System Model.

Key features of GLIMMER are:

  • The model is capable of reproducing the EISMINT benchmarks
  • The model is written in Fortran95 with some code generated by python scripts. The model is developed to a large extent on Linux systems and works with the NAG and INTEL f95 compilers. It can also be compiled under Windows.
  • The model is hosted on NeSCForge and can be accessed via the GLIMMER project pages.
  • Model I/O uses the netCDF library and complies with the CF standard for Climate and Forecast Data.
  • The model is implemented as a library and can be linked to programs providing a climate driver. Various climate drivers are included with the model.
  • The model comes with a visualisation tools written in python using GMT.
  • The model is reasonably well documented. The documentation is written in LaTeX.
  • Licensed under the GNU General Public Licence.

We are particularly interested in enhancing the core ice sheet model. GLIMMER is used for our simulations of the past FennoScandian Ice Sheet and to investigate subglacial erosion, sediment transport and deposition. A large part of the model development is dedicated to developing visualisation and pre- and post-processing tools.

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