Modeling of ice-sheet flow : development, processes and projections

Titre : Modeling of ice-sheet flow : development, processes and projections

Laboratoire de rattachement : LGGE/IGE

Encadrant : Gaël Durand

Téléphone :

Mots clés : ice-sheet dynamics, model, finite-element method, climate

Contexte et objectifs de la mission de stage :
For two decades, numerous outlet glaciers of both Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have speed up and thin. As a consequence, both ice sheets are loosing mass, at an increasing rate, and have become the main contributors of the observed sea-level rise. Estimating the future behavior of ice sheets is therefore a prerequisite before establishing any reliable projections or initiate well dimensioned adaptation strategies. This can only be done through the use of numerical models.

The ice flow modeling team, from the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l’Environnement is developing the ice-sheet model Elmer/Ice ( This open source code, with an increasing number of users, is today internationally recognized for the accuracy of the physical processes implemented in, the data assimilation methods developed and the quality of the computed projections. Elmer/Ice is currently used in various studies : (i) the investigation of physical processes involved in ice sheet dynamics (subglacial hydrology, damage and iceberg calving), (ii) projections of outlet glaciers evolution and (iii) interactions with the other components of the climate system (atmosphere, ocean) at the root of the observed changes in the ice flow dynamics.

The successful candidate will have a strong background in numerical methods and fluid mechanics. He will join the research team developing Elmer/Ice and will be in charge of a specific research project adjusted to his/her profile (numerical development, process study, application of the model on realistic cases). This project will be precisely defined in advance with the applicant in agreement with the scientific priorities of the team during the course of the internship.