Achieving Textbook Multigrid Efficiency for Hydrostatic Ice Sheet Flow

Jed Brown, Barry Smith, Aron Ahmadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The hydrostatic equations for ice sheet flow offer improved fidelity compared with the shallow ice approximation and shallow stream approximation popular in today's ice sheet models. Nevertheless, they present a serious bottleneck because they require the solution of a three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear system, as opposed to the two-dimensional system present in the shallow stream approximation. This 3D system is posed on high-aspect domains with strong anisotropy and variation in coefficients, making it expensive to solve with current methods. This paper presents a Newton--Krylov multigrid solver for the hydrostatic equations that demonstrates textbook multigrid efficiency (an order of magnitude reduction in residual per iteration and solution of the fine-level system at a small multiple of the cost of a residual evaluation). Scalability on Blue Gene/P is demonstrated, and the method is compared to various algebraic methods that are in use or have been proposed as viable approaches.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B359-B375
Number of pages1
JournalSIAM Journal on Scientific Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 12 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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