The new heat-flow map of Antarctica.
The new heat-flow map of Antarctica. Credit: Stål et al. [2021], Figure 1
Source: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

In most places around the world, measuring the heat flow through the shallow crustal rocks is routine, and heat-flow maps are compiled using numerous direct measurements. This is not so in Antarctica, where subglacial heat-flow measurements are challenging and rare. The geothermal heat flux, however, is important for us to know as it has a major influence on the melting, flow, and mass balance of the ice sheets and represents an essential boundary condition for ice-sheet modelling. How, then, can we best map the heat flow? Stål et al. [2021] solve the problem by exploiting global correlations of heat flow with other observables. Assembling a large global set of diverse geophysical and geological data, they identify key correlations and calculate a new heat flow map of the entire Antarctica.

Citation: Stål, T., Reading, A. M., Halpin, J. A., & Whittaker, J. M. [2021]. Antarctic geothermal heat flow model: Aq1. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22, e2020GC009428.

—Sergei Lebedev, Associate Editor, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems

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