Presentation of the dynamical core of neXtSIM, a new sea ice model

TitlePresentation of the dynamical core of neXtSIM, a new sea ice model
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBouillon, S, Rampal, P
JournalOcean Modelling
PublisherElsevier Science

The dynamical core of a new sea ice model is presented. It is based on the Elasto–Brittle rheology, which is inspired by progressive damage models used for example in rock mechanics. The main idea is that each element can be damaged when the local internal stress exceeds a Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion. The model is implemented with a finite element method and a Lagrangian advection scheme. Simulations of 10 days are performed over the Arctic at a resolution of 7 km. The model, which has only a few parameters, generates discontinuous sea ice velocity fields and strongly localized deformation features that occupy a few percent of the total sea ice cover area but accommodate most of the deformation. For the first time, a sea ice model is shown to reproduce the multifractal scaling properties of sea ice deformation. The sensitivity to model parameters and initial conditions is presented, as well as the ability of the Lagrangian advection scheme at preserving discontinuous fields.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
Author Address


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