Stabilized equal low-order finite elements in ice sheet modeling – accuracy and robustness.

Helanow, Christian and Ahlkrona, Josefin (2018) Stabilized equal low-order finite elements in ice sheet modeling – accuracy and robustness. Computational Geosciences . DOI 10.1007/s10596-017-9713-5.

Full text not available from this repository.

Supplementary data:


We investigate the accuracy and robustness of one of the most common methods used in glaciology for finite element discretization of the 𝔭-Stokes equations: linear equal order finite elements with Galerkin least-squares (GLS) stabilization on anisotropic meshes. Furthermore, we compare the results to other stabilized methods. We find that the vertical velocity component is more sensitive to the choice of GLS stabilization parameter than horizontal velocity. Additionally, the accuracy of the vertical velocity component is especially important since errors in this component can cause ice surface instabilities and propagate into future ice volume predictions. If the element cell size is set to the minimum edge length and the stabilization parameter is allowed to vary non-linearly with viscosity, the GLS stabilization parameter found in literature is a good choice on simple domains. However, near ice margins the standard parameter choice may result in significant oscillations in the vertical component of the surface velocity. For these reasons, other stabilization techniques, in particular the interior penalty method, result in better accuracy and are less sensitive to the choice of stabilization parameter. During this work, we also discovered that the manufactured solutions often used to evaluate errors in glaciology are not reliable due to high artificial surface forces at singularities. We perform our numerical experiments in both FEniCS and Elmer/Ice.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Finite element method, Galerkin least-squares, p-Stokes, Ice-sheet modeling, Anisotropic mesh
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10596-017-9713-5
ISSN: 1420-0597
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 09:31
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2018 08:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item