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A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production


Burton-Johnson, A and Halpin, JA and Whittaker, JM and Graham, FS and Watson, SJ, A new heat flux model for the Antarctic Peninsula incorporating spatially variable upper crustal radiogenic heat production, Geophysical Research Letters, 44, (11) pp. 5436-5446. ISSN 0094-8276 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2017GL073596


A new method for modeling heat flux shows that the upper crust contributes up to 70% of the Antarctic Peninsula's subglacial heat flux and that heat flux values are more variable at smaller spatial resolutions than geophysical methods can resolve. Results indicate a higher heat flux on the east and south of the Peninsula (mean 81 mW m−2) where silicic rocks predominate, than on the west and north (mean 67 mW m−2) where volcanic arc and quartzose sediments are dominant. While the data supports the contribution of heat-producing element-enriched granitic rocks to high heat flux values, sedimentary rocks can be of comparative importance dependent on their provenance and petrography. Models of subglacial heat flux must utilize a heterogeneous upper crust with variable radioactive heat production if they are to accurately predict basal conditions of the ice sheet. Our new methodology and data set facilitate improved numerical model simulations of ice sheet dynamics.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic, geothermal, heat flux, radiogenic heat production, upper crust
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Geology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Halpin, JA (Dr Jacqueline Halpin)
UTAS Author:Whittaker, JM (Associate Professor Jo Whittaker)
UTAS Author:Graham, FS (Dr Felicity McCormack)
UTAS Author:Watson, SJ (Ms Sally Watson)
ID Code:116816
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2017-05-23
Last Modified:2022-08-23
Downloads:133 View Download Statistics

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