MOSAiC: a testbed for DEMs?

nils.hutter [ at ]


Discrete Element Models presented in literature have been mostly run in idealized configurations focussing on certain aspects of sea ice fracture and deformation. Realistic simulations with DEMs initialised, forced, and validated with observational data are limited due to the lack of sea ice observations at floe scale. In our presentation, we outline a possible framework to use MOSAiC observations to design realistic DEM configurations to simulate pack-ice. We present airborne laser scanner (ALS) data of the sea ice surface elevation retrieved during the MOSAiC campaign, from which floe size, shape, and thickness information in an 10x5 km domain can be derived. With a spatial resolution of 50cm the ALS offers the unique opportunity to map meter-scale sea ice floes in 25 records around the year can be derived. These floe observations could be used to initialise the DEM simulations. The simulations could be forced with drift observations derived from satellite or buoy observations along the boundaries. Finally, the simulations could be evaluated against the floe observations derived from the next ALS record.

Item Type
Conference (Talk)
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Primary Topic
Publication Status
Event Details
Modeling the Granular Nature of Sea Ice, 07 Jun 2021 - 11 Jun 2021.
Eprint ID
Cite as
Hutter, N. , von Albedyll, L. and Hendricks, S. (2021): MOSAiC: a testbed for DEMs? , Modeling the Granular Nature of Sea Ice, 7 June 2021 - 11 June 2021 .

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