Geothermal heat flux (GHF) is a crucial boundary condition for making accurate predictions of ice sheet mass loss, yet it is poorly known in Greenland due to inaccessibility of the bedrock. Here we use a machine learning algorithm on a large collection of relevant geologic features and global GHF measurements and produce a GHF map of Greenland that we argue is within similar to 15% accuracy. The main features of our predicted GHF map include a large region with high GHF in central-north Greenland surrounding the NorthGRIP ice core site, and hot spots in the Jakobshavn Isbraecatchment, upstream of Petermann Gletscher, and near the terminus of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier. Our model also captures the trajectory of Greenland movement over the Icelandic plume by predicting a stripe of elevated GHF in central-east Greenland. Finally, we show that our model can produce substantially more accurate predictions if additional measurements of GHF in Greenland are provided.
Rezvanbehbahani, S., Stearns, L. A., Kadivar, A., Walker, J. D., and van der Veen, C. J. (2017). Predicting the geothermal heat flux in Greenland: A machine learning approach. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 12,271–12,279. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075661This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1639734. Opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the NSF.