A fully coupled 3-D ice-sheet-sea-level model: Algorithm and applications

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Abstract

Relative sea-level variations during the late Pleistocene cannot be reconstructed regardless of the estimates of ice-volume fluctuations. For the latter, however, the knowledge of regional and global relative sea-level variations is necessary. Overcoming this problem of circularity demands a fully coupled system where ice sheets and sea level vary consistently in space and time and dynamically affect each other. Here we present results for the past 410 000 years (410 kyr) from the coupling of a set of 3-D ice-sheet-shelf models to a global sea-level model based on the solution of gravitationally self-consistent sea-level equation. The sea-level model incorporates all the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment feedbacks for a Maxwell viscoelastic and rotating Earth model with variable coastlines. Ice volume is computed with four 3-D ice-sheet-shelf models for North America, Eurasia, Greenland and Antarctica. With an inverse approach, ice volume and temperature are derived from a benthic δ<sup>18</sup>O stacked record. The ice-sheet thickness variations are then forwarded to the sea-level model to compute the bedrock deformation, the geoid and the relative sea-level change. The latter are used to generate the new topographies for the next time step, which are forwarded to the ice-sheet models. To quantify the impact of relative sea-level variations on ice-volume evolution, we have performed coupled and uncoupled simulations. The largest differences of ice-sheet thickness change show up in the proximity of the ice-sheets edges, where relative sea-level change significantly departs from the ocean-averaged sea level variation.

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De Boer, B., Stocchi, P., & Van De Wal, R. S. W. (2014). A fully coupled 3-D ice-sheet-sea-level model: Algorithm and applications. Geoscientific Model Development, 7(5), 2141–2156. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-7-2141-2014

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