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ΔH - The change in ice thickness at a particular point.

dS/dH - The rate of change in local sea level at the chosen city due to ice thickness change at this point.

dS/dH · ΔH - The change in local sea level at the chosen city due to ice thickness change at this point.


Primary Controls


Please Tell Us About Yourself



To start the demo, click the Let's go! button. What our team from NASA/JPL at CalTech shows here are results from work published in Science Advances, "Should coastal planners have concern over where the land ice is melting?". Once you click the Let's go! button, choose a city. The results will show the overall contribution of icy areas to sea level change in the selected city.

The colorbar indicates the following for the selected city:

  • red: strong contribution to sea level rise
  • blue: strong contribution to sea level decrease
  • green: no contribution

Also displayed in the lower right are specific trends for the selected city (sea level from ice, from specific basins, and total). If you want to know more, click the More Info... button below.

Datasets Used for the Simulation

  • Coastline from Wessel, P., and W. H. F. Smith, A Global Self-consistent, Hierarchical, High-resolution Shoreline Database, J. Geophys. Res., 101, #B4, pp. 8741-8743, 1996.
  • Ice forcing from 2003 to present-day from JPL RL05M GRACE mascon solution, provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (GRACE-JPL) (Watkins et al., 2015).

Model Settings

  • Anisotropic mesh refined to best capture the coastlines. Initial resolution, 400 km, anisotropically refined to 100 km for coastlines of both Greenland and Antarctica.
  • Coastline mapping using GMT - The Generic Mapping Tools, Version 5.1.1 (r12968) [64-bit] (c) 1991-2014 Paul Wessel, Walter H. F. Smith, R. Scharroo, J. Luis, and F. Wobbe.
  • Ocean vs Ice vs Continent mask determined using GMT and GSHHG.
  • Spherical geometry, radius = 6371.012 km.
  • Sea level rise solution following Farrel and Clarke, 1976, according to algorithms described in Adhikari et al., GMD 2016.

How to Run the Simulation

In the Controls section, choose a city on which the results are to be rendered, as well as which result is to be displayed:

  1. Local Sea Level Contribution from glaciers/ice sheets (default)
  2. Gradient Fingerprint
  3. Ice Thickness Change from GRACE

The results will then be rendered automatically. For further experiments, you can chose to extrapolate GRACE ice thickness changes into the future (Time Series). You can also compute the contribution of a specific basin to Local Sea Level in your city.



If you have any questions or feedback, please send us an email.

    Local Sea Level Change Contributed by Glaciers/Ice Sheets

    Basin contribution

    Total contribution (Ice + Ocean)

    data marker