A Shallow Ice Glacier Model

I have experiemented with using matlabs built-in ode solvers to integrate a Shallow ice model. Surprisingly the ode solvers are able to take much greater timesteps than what theoretical stability criteria would suggest. I am really impressed by how well it works although I will not recommend using this approach:

  • There is a discontinuity where the height can not go below zero. This is very hard for the ode solvers to deal with.
    • Tiny¬†instabilities result in oscillations (I’ve set the tolerances such that they are visible in the video). However, this can in practice lead to an accumulation bias due to the altitude-accumulation feedback.

The main advantage of the ode solver approach is that the code can be made extremely short and readable. It could therefore serve as a nice introduction to the Shallow Ice Approximation.

Mail me if you would like a piece of the code. It is short and easy to read.

brown is the bedrock. It is a modification of matlabs peaks function. transparent white is the glacier surface.