Abstract We present a method for calculating the derivatives of measurements of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) with respect to the viscosity structure of the Earth and the ice sheet history. These derivatives, or kernels, quantify the linearised sensitivity of measurements to the underlying model parameters. The adjoint method is used to enable efficient calculation of theoretically exact sensitivity kernels within laterally heterogeneous earth models that can have a range of linear or non-linear viscoelastic rheologies. We first present a new approach to calculate GIA in the time domain, which, in contrast to the more usual formulation in the Laplace domain, is well suited to continuously varying earth models and to the use of the adjoint method. Benchmarking results show excellent agreement between our formulation and previous methods. We illustrate the potential applications of the kernels calculated in this way through a range of numerical calculations relative to a spherically symmetric background model. The complex spatial patterns of the sensitivities are not intuitive, and this is the first time that such effects are quantified in an efficient and accurate manner. Sea level change, Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle, Transient deformation, Numerical modelling, Inverse theory © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Geophysical Journal International – Oxford University Press
Published: May 7, 2018
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