Heat Sources within the Greenland Ice Sheet: Dissipation, Temperate Paleo-Firn and Cryo-Hydrologic Warming

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Luthi, M. P.
Ryser, C.
Andrews, L. C.
Catania, G. A.
Funk, M.
Hawley, R. L.
Hoffman, M. J.
Neumann, T. A.

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Ice temperature profiles from the Greenland Ice Sheet contain information on the deformation history, past climates and recent warming. We present full-depth temperature profiles from two drill sites on a flow line passing through Swiss Camp, West Greenland. Numerical modeling reveals that ice temperatures are considerably higher than would be expected from heat diffusion and dissipation alone. The possible causes for this extra heat are evaluated using a Lagrangian heat flow model. The model results reveal that the observations can be explained with a combination of different processes: enhanced dissipation (strain heating) in ice-age ice, temperate paleo-firn, and cryo-hydrologic warming in deep crevasses.


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Lüthi, M. P., C. Ryser, L. C. Andrews, G. A. Catania, M. Funk, R. L. Hawley, M. J. Hoffman, and T. A. Neumann. "Heat sources within the Greenland Ice Sheet: dissipation, temperate paleo-firn and cryo-hydrologic warming." The Cryosphere 9, no. 1 (Feb., 2015): 245-253.