Current state and future perspectives on coupled ice-sheet – sea-level modelling

Bas de Boer*, Paolo Stocchi, Pippa L. Whitehouse, Roderik S.W. van de Wal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The interaction between ice-sheet growth and retreat and sea-level change has been an established field of research for many years. However, recent advances in numerical modelling have shed new light on the precise interaction of marine ice sheets with the change in near-field sea level, and the related stability of the grounding line position. Studies using fully coupled ice-sheet – sea-level models have shown that accounting for gravitationally self-consistent sea-level change will act to slow down the retreat and advance of marine ice-sheet grounding lines. Moreover, by simultaneously solving the ’sea-level equation’ and modelling ice-sheet flow, coupled models provide a global field of relative sea-level change that is consistent with dynamic changes in ice-sheet extent. In this paper we present an overview of recent advances, possible caveats, methodologies and challenges involved in coupled ice-sheet – sea-level modelling. We conclude by presenting a first-order comparison between a suite of relative sea-level data and output from a coupled ice-sheet – sea-level model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-28
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Coupling
  • Glacial isostatic adjustment
  • Global
  • Ice sheet model
  • Quaternary
  • Sea level changes
  • Self-gravitation


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