Anomalously high geothermal flux near the South Pole

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Title: Anomalously high geothermal flux near the South Pole
Authors: Jordan, T
Martin, C
Ferraccioli, F
Matsuoka, K
Corr, H
Forsberg, R
Olesen, A
Siegert, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2018-11-14
2019-01-24T14:29:34Z
Abstract: Melting at the base of the Antarctic Ice Sheet influences ice dynamics and our ability to recover ancient climatic records from deep ice cores. Basal melt rates are affected by geothermal flux, one of the least constrained properties of the Antarctic continent. Estimates of Antarctic geothermal flux are typically regional in nature, derived from geological, magnetic or seismic data, or from sparse point measurements at ice core sites. We analyse ice-penetrating radar data upstream of South Pole revealing a ~100 km long and 50 km wide area where internal ice sheet layers converge with the bed. Ice sheet modelling shows that this englacial layer configuration requires basal melting of up to 6 ± 1 mm a−1 and a geothermal flux of 120 ± 20 mW m−2, more than double the values expected for this cratonic sector of East Antarctica. We suggest high heat producing Precambrian basement rocks and hydrothermal circulation along a major fault system cause this anomaly. We conclude that local geothermal flux anomalies could be more widespread in East Antarctica. Assessing their influence on subglacial hydrology and ice sheet dynamics requires new detailed geophysical observations, especially in candidate areas for deep ice core drilling and at the onset of major ice streams.
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2018
Date of Acceptance: 31-Oct-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66028
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-35182-0
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
British Council (UK)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/G00465X/3
GEOG.RE2356
ICECAP-2
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
ANTARCTIC ICE-SHEET
CENTRAL EAST ANTARCTICA
HEAT-FLUX
SUBGLACIAL LAKES
WEST ANTARCTICA
TRANSANTARCTIC MOUNTAINS
BASAL MELT
FLOW
INVENTORY
EVOLUTION
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 16785
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy
Faculty of Natural Sciences



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