Numerical bifurcation analysis of marine ice sheet models

T. E. Mulder, H. A. Dijkstra*, F. W. Wubs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The climate variability associated with the Pleistocene Ice Ages is one of the most fascinating puzzles in the Earth Sciences still awaiting a satisfactory explanation. In particular, the explanation of the dominant 100 kyr period of the glacial cycles over the last million years is a long-standing problem. Based on bifurcation analyses of low-order models, many theories have been suggested to explain these cycles and their frequency. The new aspect in this contribution is that, for the first time, numerical bifurcation analysis is applied to a two-dimensional marine ice sheet model with a dynamic grounding line. In this model, we find Hopf bifurcations with an oscillation period of about 100 kyr which may be relevant to glacial cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Methods in Applied Sciences
EditorsAlexander Gelfgat
PublisherSpringer Netherland
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-91494-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91493-0
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2019

Publication series

NameComputational Methods in Applied Sciences
ISSN (Print)1871-3033


  • Bifurcation analysis
  • Marine ice sheets
  • Multiple equilibria
  • Oscillatory modes

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