Graphics-processing-unit-accelerated ice flow solver for unstructured meshes using the Shallow-Shelf Approximation (FastIceFlo v1.0.1)

Sandip, Anjali; Räss, Ludovic; Morlighem, Mathieu

Ice-sheet flow models capable of accurately projecting their future mass balance constitute tools to improve flood risk assessment and assist sea-level rise mitigation associated with enhanced ice discharge. Some processes that need to be captured, such as grounding-line migration, require high spatial resolution (under the kilometer scale). Conventional ice flow models mainly execute on central processing units (CPUs), which feature limited parallel processing capabilities and peak memory bandwidth. This may hinder model scalability and result in long run times, requiring significant computational resources. As an alternative, graphics processing units (GPUs) are ideally suited for high spatial resolution, as the calculations can be performed concurrently by thousands of threads, processing most of the computational domain simultaneously. In this study, we combine a GPU-based approach with the pseudo-transient (PT) method, an accelerated iterative and matrix-free solution strategy, and investigate its performance for finite elements and unstructured meshes with application to two-dimensional (2-D) models of real glaciers at a regional scale. For both the Jakobshavn and Pine Island glacier models, the number of nonlinear PT iterations required to converge a given number of vertices (inline-formulaN) scales in the order of inline-formula­Łĺ¬(N1.2) or better. We further compare the performance of the PT CUDA C implementation with a standard finite-element CPU-based implementation using the price-to-performance metric. The price of a single Tesla V100 GPU is 1.5 times that of two Intel Xeon Gold 6140 CPUs. We expect a minimum speedup of at least 1.5 times to justify the Tesla V100 GPU price to performance. Our developments result in a GPU-based implementation that achieves this goal with a speedup beyond 1.5 times. This study represents a first step toward leveraging GPU processing power, enabling more accurate polar ice discharge predictions. The insights gained will benefit efforts to diminish spatial resolution constraints at higher computing performance. The higher computing performance will allow for ensembles of ice-sheet flow simulations to be run at the continental scale and higher resolution, a previously challenging task. The advances will further enable the quantification of model sensitivity to changes in upcoming climate forcings. These findings will significantly benefit process-oriented sea-level-projection studies over the coming decades.



Sandip, Anjali / Räss, Ludovic / Morlighem, Mathieu: Graphics-processing-unit-accelerated ice flow solver for unstructured meshes using the Shallow-Shelf Approximation (FastIceFlo v1.0.1). 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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