Thomas Zwinger

Thomas Zwinger
CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd · High Performance Computing Support

Dr. techn., adjunct professor (Univ. of Helsinki)

About

156
Publications
24,136
Reads
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4,902
Citations
Introduction
I am working with the Finite Element package Elmer (http://www.elmerfem.org) and in particular on application of the code to geophysical fluid and heat transfer problems, mainly in the connection with glaciology. This lead to an add-on package to Elmer for ice flow simulations, Elmer/Ice (http://elmerice.elmerfem.org), which has become very popular in the theoretical glaciological community during the recent years.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - March 2017
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Lecture in Continuum Mechanical Applications in Snow and Ice Physics
January 2016 - May 2016
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Lecture in Glaciology
September 2014 - December 2014
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Lecture in Continuum mechanical applications in snow and ice physics
Education
April 1996 - December 2000
TU Wien
Field of study
  • Mechanical Engineering
September 1989 - December 1995
TU Wien
Field of study
  • Engineering Physics

Publications

Publications (156)
Article
Ice shelves play a key role in the dynamics of marine ice sheets by buttressing grounded ice and limiting rates of ice flux to the oceans. In response to recent climatic and oceanic change, ice shelves fringing the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have begun to fragment and retreat, with major implications for ice-sheet stability. Here, we focus on...
Article
Full-text available
Tidewater glaciers have been observed to experience instantaneous, stepwise increases in velocity during iceberg-calving events due to a loss of resistive stresses. These changes in stress can potentially impact tidewater glacier stability by promoting additional calving and affecting the viscous delivery of ice to the terminus. Using flow models a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ice shelves play a key role in the dynamics of marine ice sheets, by buttressing grounded ice and limiting rates of ice flux to the oceans. In response to recent climatic and oceanic change, ice shelves fringing the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have begun to fragment and retreat, with major implications for ice sheet stability. Here, we focus on...
Article
Full-text available
Projections of the sea level contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (GrIS and AIS) rely on atmospheric and oceanic drivers obtained from climate models. The Earth System Models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) generally project greater future warming compared with the previous Coupled Mode...
Article
Projections of the sea level contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets (GrIS and AIS) rely on atmospheric and oceanic drivers obtained from climate models. The Earth System Models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) generally project greater future warming compared with the previous Coupled Mode...
Article
Full-text available
Marine ice-cliff instability could accelerate ice loss from Antarctica, and according to some model predictions could potentially contribute >1 m of global mean sea level rise by 2100 at current emission rates. Regions with over-deepening basins >1 km in depth (e.g., the West Antarctic Ice Sheet) are particularly susceptible to this instability, as...
Article
Full-text available
The land ice contribution to global mean sea level rise has not yet been predicted¹ using ice sheet and glacier models for the latest set of socio-economic scenarios, nor using coordinated exploration of uncertainties arising from the various computer models involved. Two recent international projects generated a large suite of projections using mu...
Article
Full-text available
A number of important questions concern processes at the margins of ice sheets where multiple components of the Earth system, most crucially ice sheets and oceans, interact. Such processes include thermodynamic interaction at the ice–ocean interface, the impact of meltwater on ice shelf cavity circulation, the impact of basal melting of ice shelves...
Article
Full-text available
Ice flow models of the Antarctic ice sheet are commonly used to simulate its future evolution in response to different climate scenarios and assess the mass loss that would contribute to future sea level rise. However, there is currently no consensus on estimates of the future mass balance of the ice sheet, primarily because of differences in the r...
Preprint
Full-text available
A number of important questions concern processes at the margins of ice sheets where multiple components of the Earth System, most crucially ice sheets and oceans, interact. Such processes include thermodynamic interaction at the ice-ocean interface, the impact of melt water on ice shelf cavity circulation, the impact of basal melting of ice shelve...
Article
Full-text available
We present a new, open-source viscoelastic solid earth deformation model, Elmer/Earth. Using the multi-physics finite-element package Elmer, a model to compute viscoelastic material deformation has been implemented into the existing linear elasticity solver routine. Unlike approaches often implemented in engineering codes, our solver accounts for t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Ice flow models of the Antarctic ice sheet are commonly used to simulate its future evolution in response to different climate scenarios and inform on the mass loss that would contribute to future sea level rise. However, there is currently no consensus on estimated the future mass balance of the ice sheet, primarily because of difference...
Article
Full-text available
Retreat of calving glaciers worldwide has contributed substantially to sea-level rise in recent decades. Mass loss by calving contributes significantly to the uncertainty of sea-level rise projections. At Bowdoin Glacier, Northwest Greenland, most calving occurs by a few large events resulting from kilometre-scale fractures forming parallel to the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. We present a new, open source visco-elastic Earth-deformation model, Elmer/Earth. Using the multi-physics Finite Element package Elmer, a model to compute visco-elastic material deformation has been implemented into the existing linear elasticity solver routine. Unlike approaches often implemented in engineering codes, our solver accounts...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific computing applications involving complex simulations and data-intensive processing are often composed of multiple tasks forming a workflow of computing jobs. Scientific communities running such applications on computing resources often find it cumbersome to manage and monitor the execution of these tasks and their associated data. These...
Article
Full-text available
Iceberg calving accounts for between 30 % and 60 % of net mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet, which has intensified and is now the single largest contributor to global sea level rise in the cryosphere. Changes to calving rates and the dynamics of calving glaciers represent a significant uncertainty in projections of future sea level rise. A gro...
Article
Full-text available
Iceberg calving accounts for between 30–60 % of net mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet, which has intensified and is now the single largest contributor to global sea level rise in the cryosphere. Changes to calving rates and the dynamics of calving glaciers represent one of the largest uncertainties in projections of future sea level rise. A gr...
Article
Full-text available
Ice flow forced by gravity is governed by the full Stokes (FS) equations, which are computationally expensive to solve due to the nonlinearity introduced by the rheology. Therefore, approximations to the FS equations are commonly used, especially when modeling a marine ice sheet (ice sheet, ice shelf, and/or ice stream) for 103 years or longer. The...
Article
Full-text available
p>Many glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula are now rapidly losing mass. Understanding of the dynamics of these fast-flowing glaciers, and their potential future behaviour, can be improved through ice sheet modelling studies. Inverse methods are commonly used in ice sheet models to infer the spatial distribution of a basal friction coefficient, whic...
Article
Full-text available
The Wordie Ice Shelf–Fleming Glacier system in the southern Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a long-term retreat and disintegration of its ice shelf in the past 50 years. Increases in the glacier velocity and dynamic thinning have been observed over the past two decades, especially after 2008 when only a small ice shelf remained at the Fleming G...
Article
Full-text available
The Totten Ice Shelf (IS) has a large drainage basin, much of which is grounded below sea level, leaving the glacier vulnerable to retreat through the marine ice sheet instability mechanism. The ice shelf has also been shown to be sensitive to changes in calving rate, as a very small retreat of the calving front from its current position is predict...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific computing applications involving complex simulations and data-intensive processing are often composed of multiple tasks forming a workflow of computing jobs. Scientific communities running such applications on distributed and heterogeneous computing resources find it cumbersome to manage and monitor the execution of these tasks. Scientif...
Article
Full-text available
Engabreen is an outlet glacier of the Svartisen Ice Cap located in Northern Norway. It is a unique glacier due to the Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory which allows direct access to the glacier bed. In this study, we combine both sub- and supraglacial observations with ice-flow modelling in order to investigate conditions at the bed of Engabreen both...
Article
Full-text available
The marine-terminating outlet in Basin 3, Austfonna ice cap, has been accelerating since the mid-1990s. Stepwise multi-annual acceleration associated with seasonal summer speed-up events was observed before the outlet entered the basin-wide surge in autumn 2012. We used multiple numerical models to explore hydrologic activation mechanisms for the s...
Article
Stalling the fastest flows of ice into the oceans would buy us a few centuries to deal with climate change and protect coasts, argue John C. Moore and colleagues.
Article
Full-text available
Iceberg calving accounts for around half of all mass loss from both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The diverse nature of calving and its complex links to both internal dynamics and climate make it challenging to incorporate into models of glaciers and ice sheets. Here, we present results from a new open-source 3D full-Stokes calving model...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we study the effects of basal friction, sub-aqueous undercutting and glacier geometry on the calving process by combining six different models in an offline-coupled workflow: a continuum–mechanical ice flow model (Elmer/Ice), a climatic mass balance model, a simple subglacial hydrology model, a plume model, an undercutting model and...
Article
Full-text available
Ice flow forced by gravity is governed by the Full Stokes (FS) equations, which are computationally expensive to solve due to their non-linearity introduced by the rheology. Therefore, approximations to the FS equations are used, especially when modelling an ice sheet complex (ice sheet, ice shelf and/or ice stream) on the order of 1000 years or lo...
Article
Full-text available
Iceberg calving accounts for around half of all mass loss from both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The diverse nature of calving and its complex links to both internal dynamics and climate make it challenging to incorporate into models of glaciers and ice sheets. Here, we present results from a new open-source 3D full-Stokes calving model...
Article
Full-text available
The Totten Ice Shelf (IS) has a large drainage basin, much of which is grounded below sea level, leaving the glacier vulnerable to retreat through the Marine Ice Shelf Instability mechanism. The ice shelf has also been shown to be sensitive to changes in calving rate, as a very small retreat of the calving front from its current position is predict...
Article
Full-text available
We used a finite element model to interpret anti-correlated pressure variations at the base of a glacier to demonstrate the importance of stress redistribution in the basal ice. We first investigated two pairs of load cells installed 20 m apart at the base of the 210 m thick Engabreen glacier in Northern Norway. The load cell data for July 2003 sho...
Article
Full-text available
The Wordie Ice Shelf-Fleming Glacier system in the southern Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a long-term retreat and disintegration of its ice shelf in the past 50 years. Upstream glacier acceleration and dynamic thinning have been observed over the past two decades, especially after 2008 when only a little constraining ice shelf remained at the...
Article
Full-text available
Many glaciers in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are now rapidly losing ice mass. Understanding of the dynamics of these fast-flowing glaciers, and their potential future behavior, can be improved through ice sheet modeling studies. Inverse methods are commonly used in ice sheet models to infer the basal shear stress, which has a large...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluate the variability in basal friction for Kronebreen, Svalbard, a fast-flowing tidewater glacier. We invert 3 years (2013–15) of surface velocities at high temporal resolution (generally 11 days), to estimate the changing basal properties of the glacier. Our results suggest that sliding behaviour of Kronebreen within a year is primarily inf...
Article
Full-text available
The marine-terminating outlet in Basin 3, Austfonna ice-cap has been accelerating since the mid-1990s. Step-wise multiannual acceleration associated with seasonal summer speed-up events was observed before the outlet enters the basin-wide surge in autumn 2012. We use multiple numerical models to explore hydrologic activation mechanisms for the surg...
Article
Full-text available
A hierarchy of approximations of the force balance for the flow of grounded ice exists, ranging from the most sophisticated full Stokes (FS) formulation to the most simplified shallow ice approximation (SIA). Both are implemented in the ice flow model Elmer/Ice, and we compare them by applying the model to the East Antarctic Shirase drainage basin....
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we study the effects of basal friction, sub-aqueous undercutting and glacier geometry on the calving process with six different models: a continuum-mechanical ice flow model (Elmer/Ice), a climatic mass balance model, a simple subglacial hydrology model, a plume model, an undercut model and a discrete particle model to investigate fr...
Conference Paper
We describe the design and implementation of hierarchical high-order basis functions with OpenMP* SIMD constructs in the Elmer Finite Element software. We give rationale of our design decisions and present some of the key challenges encountered during the implementation. Our numerical results on a platform supporting Intel® AVX2 show that the new b...
Article
Full-text available
The simple calving laws currently used in ice-sheet models do not adequately reflect the complexity and diversity of calving processes. To be effective, calving laws must be grounded in a sound understanding of how calving actually works. Here, we develop a new strategy for formulating calving laws, using (a) the Helsinki Discrete Element Model (Hi...
Article
Full-text available
Discharge and water temperature measurements in the Skaftá river and measurements of the lowering of the ice over the subglacial lake at the western Skaftá cauldron, Vatnajökull, Iceland, were made during a rapidly rising glacial outburst flood (jökulhlaup) in September 2006. Outflow from the lake, flood discharge at the glacier terminus and the tr...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the temporal evolution and spatial distribution of mass balance on the glacier Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. Running a diagnostic high-resolution full-stress ice flow model with geometries obtained from five digital elevation models (DEMs) in the period 1962–2005, we compute velocity fields and linearly interpolated volume change of t...
Article
Full-text available
Computer models are necessary for understanding and predicting marine ice sheet behaviour. However, there is uncertainty over implementation of physical processes at the ice base, both for grounded and floating glacial ice. Here we implement several sliding relations in a marine ice sheet flow-line model accounting for all stress components and dem...
Article
Full-text available
We assess the importance of basal boundary conditions for transient simulations of Basin 3, Austfonna ice cap between January 1995 and December 2011 and for the surge starting in 2012 by carrying out simulations with the full-Stokes model Elmer/Ice and the vertically-integrated model BISICLES. Time-varying surface mass-balance data from the regiona...
Article
Full-text available
A hierarchy of approximations of the force balance for the flow of grounded ice exists, ranging from the most sophisticated full-Stokes (FS) formulation to the most simplified shallow ice approximation (SIA). Both are implemented in the ice flow model Elmer/Ice, and we compare them by applying the model to the East Antarctic Shirase Drainage Basin....
Article
Full-text available
Computer models are necessary for understanding and predicting marine ice sheet behaviour. However, there is uncertainty over implementation of physical processes at the ice base, both for grounded and floating glacial ice. Here we implement several sliding relations in a marine ice sheet flowline model accounting for all stress components, and dem...
Article
We propose and implement a new method, called the Ice Sheet Coupled Approximation Levels (ISCAL) method, for simulation of ice sheet flow in large domains under long time-intervals. The method couples the exact, full Stokes (FS) equations with the Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA). The part of the domain where SIA is applied is determined automatical...
Article
Future projections of the evolution of ice caps as well as ice sheets and consequent sealevel rise face several methodological challenges, one being the two-way coupling between ice flow and mass-balance models. Full two-way coupling between mass-balance models - or, in a wider scope, climate models - and ice flow models has rarely been implemented...
Data
This animated GIF shows the result of the reference simulation using the VMS (variational multiscale method) in Elmer. The highest velocities close to the surface (horizontal view) nicely coincide with inner blue ice area (closed white line).
Article
Full-text available
We model the role of katabatic winds in the formation and maintenance of a blue ice area in Scharffenbergbotnen valley, Antarctica, using the finite element code Elmer. The high-horizontal-resolution (50–200 m) numerical simulations of the local wind flow from katabatic wind fronts show high spatial variability in wind-impact patterns and good cong...
Article
Full-text available
We model the wind causing the formation of a blue ice area in Scharffenbergbotnen valley, Antarctica, using the finite element code Elmer. The high resolution numerical simulations of the local wind flow from katabatic wind fronts show highly spatially variable wind impact patterns and good congruence between places of enhanced wind-impact and the...