Helsinki Discrete Element Model (HiDEM)

Joe Todd
Wednesday 13 June 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of HiDEM – the Helsinki Discrete Element Model. This code is developed by Jan Åström, from CSC in Finland, and maintained by Joe Todd. If you want to model glacier calving from first principles, get the code here! If you want to know more about HiDEM and how we use it, read on:

Recently, we have been investigating iceberg calving by comparing results from two very different models: Elmer/Ice and HiDEM. Elmer/Ice, like many ice sheet models, treats ice as a viscous continuum and simulates the evolution of flow and temperature. Elmer/Ice can be used to predict and simulate calving events, but this requires the implementation of accurate calving laws. HiDEM, on the other hand, is able to simulate calving from first principles by treating the glacier terminus as a series of particles (discrete elements) connected by bonds. By allowing these bonds to break under high elastic stress, HiDEM displays a variety of emergent, realistic calving behaviour. Comparing results from HiDEM with those from Elmer/Ice allows us to better constrain real world calving laws for ice sheet models. Check out some 2D comparisons here, and stay tuned for 3D analysis! See also recent work by Dorothée Vallot, who successfully coupled Elmer/Ice and HiDEM for Kronebreen, Svalbard.

These publications also make use of HiDEM:

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