CNRS Research Scientist Glaciologist

Gaƫl Durand

Ice sheet modeler, developer of the Elmer/Ice model

A more specific interest in outlet glacier dynamics, mass balance of ice sheets and related contribution to sea level rise.

Ice sheets: evidences of current mass loss

- what about their future? -



Both greenland and antarctic ice sheets are unambiguously loosing mass for a couple of decades. Partly driven by an outstanding observed acceleration of some coastal outlet glaciers, their forthcoming evolution remains the largest uncertainty before apprehending changes in global sea level rise for the next centuries. Numerical modeling is a key tool to compute quantitative projections of ice sheets' evolution.



Elmer/Ice is a full-Stokes, finite element, ice sheet / ice flow model. Elmer/Ice is an add-on package to Elmer, which is a multi-physics FEM suite mainly developed by CSC-IT Center for Science. Initiated by CSC, IGE and ILTS, currently multiple institutions and individuals contribute to the development of Elmer/Ice.





After the collapse of Larsen A en 1995, Larsen B in 2002, the neighbouring Larsen C ice shelf is under the scope of the climate community. A 100 km long rift is currenlty growing and a massive tabular iceberg is prone to calve. Could we expect an instantaneous and significant acceleration of surrounding glaciers? .



Pine Island Glacier




The Pine Island Glacier is currenlty the most out of balance glacier in Antarctica. Numerical simulations predict an enhancement of its current retreat. Not driven by further perturbations but by a process of self entertained retreat: the marine ice sheet instability.