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A new heat flux model incorporating variable crustal radiogenic heat production

Citation

Burton-Johnson, A and Halpin, J and Whittaker, J and Graham, F and Watson, S, A new heat flux model incorporating variable crustal radiogenic heat production, POLAR2018 Open Science Conference Abstract Proceedings, 19-23 June 2018, Davos, Switzerland, pp. 2478. (2018) [Conference Extract]


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Abstract

We present findings recently published in GRL (Burton-Johnson et al., 2017) on the variability of Antarctic subglacial heat flux and the impact from upper crustal geology. Our new method reveals 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 mWm-2) where silicic rocks predominate, than on the west and north (mean 67 mWm-2) where volcanic arc and quartzose sediments are dominant. Whilst the data supports the contribution of HPE-enriched granitic rocks to high heat flux values, sedimentary rocks can be comparable 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 dataset facilitate improved numerical model simulations of ice sheet dynamics. The most significant challenge faced remains accurate determination of crustal structure, particularly the depths of the HPE-enriched sedimentary basins and the sub-glacial geology away from exposed outcrops. Continuing research (particularly detailed geophysical interpretation) will better constrain these unknowns and the effect of upper crustal geology on the Antarctic ice sheet.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Antarctic Peninsula, heat flux, heat production
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geochemistry
Research Field:Inorganic Geochemistry
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (excl. Social Impacts)
UTAS Author:Halpin, J (Dr Jacqueline Halpin)
UTAS Author:Whittaker, J (Associate Professor Jo Whittaker)
UTAS Author:Graham, F (Dr Felicity Graham)
UTAS Author:Watson, S (Ms Sally Watson)
ID Code:131209
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-03-06
Last Modified:2019-03-07
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