Journal article

Stratification Effects in the Turbulent Boundary Layer beneath a Melting Ice Shelf: Insights from Resolved Large-Eddy Simulations

Catherine A Vreugdenhil, John R Taylor

Journal of Physical Oceanography | American Meteorological Society | Published : 2019


Ocean turbulence contributes to the basal melting and dissolution of ice shelves by transporting heat and salt toward the ice. The meltwater causes a stable salinity stratification to form beneath the ice that suppresses turbulence. Here we use large-eddy simulations motivated by the ice shelf–ocean boundary layer (ISOBL) to examine the inherently linked processes of turbulence and stratification, and their influence on the melt rate. Our rectangular domain is bounded from above by the ice base where a dynamic melt condition is imposed. By varying the speed of the flow and the ambient temperature, we identify a fully turbulent, well-mixed regime and an intermittently turbulent, strongly stra..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by NERC Standard Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

The NERC Standard Grant NE/N009746/1 is gratefully acknowledged for supporting the research presented here. This work used the ARCHER U. K. National Supercomputing Service ( data such as the DIABLO source code and input files to reproduce the simulations are available at The authors are grateful to P. Holland for his helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript and to A. Jenkins, K. Nicholls, P. Davis, L. Couston, R. Patmore, and L. Middleton for their thoughts and discussion on this work. Thanks also to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their comments that helped to improve the manuscript.