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Influence of a West Antarctic mantle plume on ice sheet basal conditions

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posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 07:02 PM
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Abstract

The possibility that a deep mantle plume manifests Pliocene and Quaternary volcanism and potential elevated heat flux in West Antarctica has been studied for more than 30 years. Recent seismic images support the plume hypothesis as the cause of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) volcanism and geophysical structure. Mantle plumes may more than double the geothermal heat flux above nominal continental values. A dearth of in situ ice sheet basal data exists that samples the heat flux. Consequently, we examine a realistic distribution of heat flux associated with a possible late Cenozoic mantle plume in West Antarctica and explore its impact on thermal and melt conditions at the ice sheet base. We use a simple analytical mantle plume parameterization to produce geothermal heat flux at the base of the ice sheet. The three-dimensional ice flow model includes an enthalpy framework and full-Stokes stress balance. As both the putative plume location and extent are uncertain, we perform broadly scoped experiments to characterize the impact of the plume on geothermal heat flux and ice sheet basal conditions. The experiments show that mantle plumes have an important local impact on the ice sheet, with basal melting rates reaching several centimeters per year directly above the hotspot. In order to be consistent with observations of basal hydrology in MBL, the upper bound on the plume-derived geothermal heat flux is 150 mW/m2. In contrast, the active lake system of the lower part of Whillans Ice Stream suggests a widespread anomalous mantle heat flux, linked to a rift source.
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This is more evidence that indeed geothermal heat flux from a mantle plume is melting Antarctica from below. Some areas are receiving more geothermal heat than others, such as Marie Byrd Land at about 150mW/m2, while the data suggests that areas like Whillans Ice Stream have an anomalous mantle heat flux, linked to a rift source.

This is also linked to the following:

Molten iron river discovered speeding beneath Russia and Canada

Return of 'ocean chimney' the size of Tasmania puzzles Antarctic scientists

Antarctic sea ice levels hit record low, but experts are not sure why

The Earth has been experiencing an increase in volcanic/geothermal and seismic activity, and is heating up from below.




posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 07:18 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse


Just read that as well and was going to do a post about it. We have no idea the cycles that affect the earth. We have only been collecting data for 100 or so years and we are talking about cycle that last tens- hundreds of thousands of years.



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 08:29 PM
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It indicates to me that we do not know about all of the energy that the sun puts out.

It may be that when the sunspots die down, another form of energy increases ... but we can't see it.

Let's call it sub-space energy.

It would explain a great deal.

P



posted on Nov, 7 2017 @ 09:23 PM
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a reply to: ElectricUniverse


It's from fracking, or unsanctioned nuclear tests. Gotta be some one to blame somewhere. Damned scientists discovering things that sound scary and are complicated!



It will be interesting to see how these kinds of studies change the way we see climate change in the future. Maybe we will discover that the melting ice sheets are in fact going to melt weather we drive a Prius or not. I'm sure coal power plants and 25 tonne deasil powered dump trucks aren't healthy for the ecosystem or anything other than their intended purpose but maybe it's not having quite the affect we perceive it to.

Also makes me thing about the "Old Faithfull" super caldera looming in Wyoming. Everyone is so worried about everything going on above the ground...



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