EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Analysis of the Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project first phase (MISOMIP1)

Xylar Asay-Davis1, Christopher Y. S. Bull2, Stephen Cornford3, Eva Cougnon4, Jan De Rydt2, Benjamin K. Galton-Fenzi5, Rupert Gladstone6, Daniel Goldberg7, David Gwyther8, James Jordan2, Nicolas Jourdain9, Gunter Leguy10, William Lipscomb10, Gustavo Marques10, Daniel F. Martin11, Yoshihiro Nakayama12, Kaitlin A. Naughten13, Robin S. Smith14, Hélène Seroussi15, and Chen Zhao4
Xylar Asay-Davis et al.
  • 1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA (
  • 2University of Northumbria, New Castle, UK
  • 3Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  • 4University of Tasmania, Hobart, AU
  • 5Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, AU
  • 6University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
  • 7University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 8Heywood Engineering Solutions, Brisbane, AU
  • 9Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, FR
  • 10National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 11Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 12Hokkaido University, Sapporo, JP
  • 13British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
  • 14University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 15Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA

The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) is a community effort sponsored by the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project.  MISOMIP aims to design and coordinate a series of MIPs—some idealized and realistic—for model evaluation, verification with observations, and future projections for key regions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).  The first phase of the project, MISOMIP1, was an idealized, coupled set of experiments that combined elements from the MISMIP+ and ISOMIP+ standalone experiments for ice-sheet and ocean models, respectively.  These MIPs had 3 main goals: 1) to provide simplified experiments that allow model developers to compare their results with those from other models; 2) to suggest a path for testing components in the process of developing a coupled ice sheet-ocean model; and 3) to enable a large variety of parameter and process studies that branch off from these basic experiments.

Here, we describe preliminary analysis of the MISOMIP1 results.  Eight models in 14 configurations participated in the MIP.   In keeping with analysis of the MISMIP+ experiment, we find that the choice of basal friction parameterizations in the ice-sheet component (Weertman vs. Coulomb limited) has a particularly significant impact on the rate of ice-sheet retreat but the choice of stress approximation (SSA, SSA* or L1Lx) seems to have little impact.  Models with Coulomb-limited basal friction also tend to be those with the highest melt rates, confirming a positive feedback between melt and retreat in the MISOMIP1 configuration seen in previous work.  The ocean component’s treatment of the boundary layer below the ice shelf also has a significant impact on melt rates and resulting retreat, consistent with findings based on ISOMIP+.  Feedbacks between the components lead to localized features in the melt rates and the ice geometry not seen in standalone simulations, though the ~2-km horizontal and ~20-m vertical resolution of these simulations appears to be too coarse to produce long-lived, sub-ice-shelf channels seen at higher resolution.

How to cite: Asay-Davis, X., Bull, C. Y. S., Cornford, S., Cougnon, E., De Rydt, J., Galton-Fenzi, B. K., Gladstone, R., Goldberg, D., Gwyther, D., Jordan, J., Jourdain, N., Leguy, G., Lipscomb, W., Marques, G., Martin, D. F., Nakayama, Y., Naughten, K. A., Smith, R. S., Seroussi, H., and Zhao, C.: Analysis of the Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project first phase (MISOMIP1), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11918,, 2021.


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