Geothermal Heat Flux Underneath Ice Sheets Estimated From Magnetic Satellite Data

Cathrine Fox Maule, M.E. Purucker, Nils Olsen, K Mosegaard

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


The geothermal heat flux is an important factor in the dynamics of ice sheets, and it is one of the important parameters in the thermal budgets of subglacial lakes. We have used satellite magnetic data to estimate the geothermal heat flux underneath the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. By using satellite data, we are able to make heat flux maps covering the entire Antarctic continent and all of Greenland. We find that the heat flux varies from less than 50 to more than 150~mW/m2 underneath the ice sheets. To validate our results, we have compared our heat flux estimate with geologic evidence of high heat flux, and find that areas of high heat flux coincide with known current volcanism, and some areas known to have ice streams.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event2005 AGU Fall Meeting - Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 5 Dec 20059 Dec 2005


Conference2005 AGU Fall Meeting
LocationMoscone Center West
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Internet address


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