Advances in permafrost modelling: application of the Nested Newton algorithm for solving the heat equation

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This is to enlighten the very good job Enrico Borinato did in its Master Thesis in Environmental Engineering. He worked especially on top of the PhD work by Niccolò Tubini and the suggestions and supervision of Prf. Stephan Gruber, expanding in various directions his.  Please find below the Abstract of the Thesis. Clicking on the figure, you can access the manuscript. 

Abstract

Permafrost is a product of cold climatic conditions and is widespread in high-latitude and high-elevation environments. Permafrost is a key component of the cryosphere through its influence on energy exchanges, hydrological processes, natural hazards and carbon budgets. With the increasing awareness of climate change and global warming also the interest on relation climate-permafrost has been rising. A correct knowledge of permafrost behavior allows us to predict the evolution of environments characterized by perennially frozen ground and thus the impacts due to climate changes. Hence the importance to develop the right tools to study this phenomenon. 

One aim of this work is to implement the problem of the heat conduction with phase change in a numerical code. The novelty is in using a new type of Newton’s algorithm (Casulli & Zanolli, 2010) in combination with finite element method implemented in FEniCS, an open-source computing platform for solving partial differential equations. 

Then also different analysis on thermal conductivity parameterization and soil freezing characteristic curve have been studied using FreeThaw1D, a Java code in which some soil thermal conductivity models have been implemented.

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