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Siku Discrete Element Method Sea Ice Model

Author(s): Anton V. Kulchitsky; Jennifer K. Hutchings; Jerome B. Johnson; Gleb Velikhovskiy

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Abstract: Discrete element method (DEM) simulations have been shown to reproduce the discontinuous dynamics observed in sea ice. We have developed a new DEM sea-ice dynamics model called Siku. This model accounts for the spherical geometry of the Earth’s surface with a novel quaternion representation of position and orientation of ice elements. These elements are initialized with a Voronoi tessellation on a sphere. Coastal boundaries are generated based on input of coastline or landfast ice position, and do not require human intervention. The model supports user defined DEM element resolution depending on research or engineering needs. It also incorporates different contact models for ice-ice interaction, from simple elastic interaction to Mohr-Coulomb failure. Siku consists of a computational core written in C++that embeds a Python scripting capability with a core Python library allowing creation of different simulation scenarios, ingestion of input forcing and initial conditions from different sources, visualization and diagnostics of the model. We demonstrate the new approach with a series of examples testing idealized contact physics models. Future work is planned to develop a realistic contact physics model verified against observational data of ice drift, dispersion and fracturing.


Year: 2016

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