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Heat Flux Anomalies in Antarctica Revealed by Satellite Magnetic Data

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Science  15 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5733, pp. 464-467
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106888

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Abstract

The geothermal heat flux is an important factor in the dynamics of ice sheets; it affects the occurrence of subglacial lakes, the onset of ice streams, and mass losses from the ice sheet base. Because direct heat flux measurements in ice-covered regions are difficult to obtain, we developed a method that uses satellite magnetic data to estimate the heat flux underneath the Antarctic ice sheet. We found that the heat flux underneath the ice sheet varies from 40 to 185 megawatts per square meter and that areas of high heat flux coincide with known current volcanism and some areas known to have ice streams.

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