Summary We present the first results that focus on the influence of lateral Earth structure on Greenland glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) using a model that can explicitly incorporate 3-D Earth structure. In total, eight realisations of lateral viscosity structure were developed using four global seismic velocity models and two global lithosphere (elastic) thickness models. Our results show that lateral viscosity structure has a significant influence on model output of both deglacial relative sea level (RSL) changes and present-day rates of vertical land motion. For example, lateral structure changes the RSL predictions in the Holocene by several 10 s of metres in many locations relative to the 1-D case. Modelled rates of vertical land motion are also significantly affected, with differences from the 1-D case commonly at the mm/yr level and exceeding 2 mm/yr in some locations. The addition of lateral structure was unable to account for previously identified data-model RSL misfits in northern and southern Greenland, suggesting limitations in the adopted ice model (Lecavalier et al. 2014) and/or the existence of processes not included in our model. Our results show large data-model discrepancies in uplift rates when applying a 1-D viscosity model tuned to fit the RSL data; these discrepancies cannot be reconciled by adding the realisations of lateral structure considered here. In many locations, the spread in model output for the eight different 3-D Earth models is of similar amplitude or larger than the influence of lateral structure (as defined by the average of all eight model runs). This reflects the differences between the four seismic and two lithosphere models used and implies a large uncertainty in defining the GIA signal given that other aspects that contribute to this uncertainty (e.g. scaling from seismic velocity to viscosity) were not considered in this study. In order to reduce this large model uncertainty, an important next step is to develop more accurate constraints on Earth structure beneath Greenland based on regional geophysical data sets. Loading of the Earth, Sea level change, Structure of the Earth, Rheology: mantle, Numerical modelling © 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 16, 2018
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