Week 2

I have made a lot progress in the last couple of days since my previous blog post.

I now have and can operate all of the software I need for my program including Trelis, which makes meshes to use for the finite element code PyLith, and Paraview which helps to visualize data. I have not yet written anything that works, but hopefully I can begin by replicating the model I made in Matlab using an analytical solution.

Elevation profiles generated in Matlab using an analytical solution for an elastic beam model.
Elevation profiles generated in Matlab using an analytical solution for an elastic beam model.

I now have Matlab running some fun animations of the elevation profiles of a simple elastic beam model for the ice. It draws the profile out from the grounding line (the zone where the ice last touches the ground before floating on the surface of the water) to the edge of the ice. The model calculates profiles at various different heights of the water, although it needs an inertial component in order to model the motion in time.

My next step is going to try to get the same solution out of the finite element code before trying to bring in some neglected terms and geometric complexities. Additionally, this may require some rethinking about the boundary conditions of the beam.

Week 1

I have completed the first week of my SESUR project. I began working on Wednesday by downloading PyLith a finite element code which finds numerical solutions to equations with an emphasis on earthquake modeling.

I got familiar with the software by reading select portions of the user manual and running and reading through example problems provided with the download.

Similarly, I began working with ParaView which is a visualization software to help understand scientific data. It can run 2D and 3D renderings as well as animations for time dependent processes.

I still need to get software to generate mesh inputs for PyLith.

My graduate student mentor Brad Lipovsky and I discussed a model of an ice shelf that follows a simple beam flexure problem with numerical solutions. I began setting up the beam flexure problem for PyLith beginning with detailing the material properties. We also discussed the governing equations and boundary conditions which I will set up next week.