What Does Mathematics Know about Thawing Permafrost?

Malgorzata Peszynska, Oregon State University, Mathematics SCAIM Seminar
January 31, 2023 12:00 pm ESB 4133

Permafrost is the ground that remains frozen for two or more years, and is a complex environment with great importance to climate studies. The role of applied and computational mathematics is to identify and close various gaps in these studies which involve many coupled processes, at many scales, and with rather sparse data. 

In this talk we present our recent work which connects  the permafrost models at macro (Darcy) scale to the micro (pore-scale) processes. We focus on the transport of energy and mass, and if time permits, we also address mechanical phenomena accompanying, e.g., permafrost thaw. We construct robust computational schemes for the underlying PDE models at the micro and macro scales, and apply rigorous homogenization and practical numerical upscaling to connect these. These modeling and analysis efforts support predictive simulations  of practical scenarios such as the freeze/thaw cycle in the Arctic subject to the changing environmental conditions or methane release from under the permafrost.   This is joint work with Naren Vohra, Lisa Bigler and Choah Shin.

Pizza lunch will be provided.

We acknowledge financial support from the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) and the UBC Institute of Applied Mathematics (IAM).